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Several local fire departments get DCNR grants

More than $70,000 going to local companies

By Marc Stempka

HARRISBURG -- More than a dozen fire departments in the 6 News viewing area were awarded grants from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry to assist in rural firefighting response.

The Bureau of Forestry awarded more than $500,000 statewide, with more than $70,000 going to local fire departments.

The grants were announced Thursday to assist with forest fire prevention, according to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

"A total of 130 volunteer fire companies, all serving rural areas and communities where forest and brush fires are common, will benefit from these funds," DCNR Acting Secretary Ellen Ferretti said.

The DCNR said grants and other assistance were provided through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Bureau of Forestry, with funding supplied by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service. The maximum grant awarded was $7,500.

The grants will mostly be used to purchase wildfire-suppression equipment and protective clothing. In addition, grants were awarded for mobile or portable radios, water supply installations, wildfire prevention and mitigation and to keep emergency vehicle access points clear for firefighting equipment.

"One only has to look outside Pennsylvania earlier this summer to the horrific fires in Arizona and other states to appreciate the value of well-equipped and highly trained wildfire fighters," Ferretti said.

In Blair County, the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Co., in Claysburg, was awarded $1,750; the Freedom Township Volunteer Fire Co., in East Freedom, was awarded $3,500; the Friendship Fire Co. No. 1 Inc., in Roaring Spring, was awarded $3,000; the Gallitzin Warden and Crew Association, in Duncansville, was award $1,000; and the Martinsburg Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, in Martinsburg, was awarded $5,662.

In Cambria County, The Lilly Volunteer Fire Co., in Lilly, was awarded $2,445; and the Hope Fire Co., in the former Barnesboro section of Northern Cambria, was awarded $953.

In Cameron County the Emporium Fire Department, in Emporium, was awarded $5,000.

Centre County departments that received funds were the Centre Hall Volunteer Fire Co., in Centre Hall, awarded $3,500; and the Miles Township Fire Co., in Rebersburg, awarded $7,500.

The Westover Area Volunteer Fire Co., in Westover, Clearfield County, was awarded $7,500.

In Jefferson County, the Brockway Volunteer Hose Co., in Brockway, was awarded $5,063; McCalmont Township Volunteer Fire, in Anita, was awarded $5,400; the Oliver Township Volunteer Fire Co., in Coolspring, was awarded $4,750; the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Co., in Valier, was awarded $7,500; the Reynoldsville Volunteer Fire Co., in Reynoldsville, was awarded $4,358; and the Sykesville Volunteer Fire Co. Inc., in Sykesville, was awarded $1,770.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times