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Grant goes to fire co.

October 15, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

The Smithsburg Volunteer Fire Co. will receive a $22,654 federal grant, according to an announcement from the office of U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md.

"We are going to use about $18,000 of that grant to purchase a thermal imager," said Smithsburg Fire Chief Ron Jeter.

A thermal imager gives firefighters the ability to see in the dark and through smoke at fire scenes, Jeter said.

"It detects heat very accurately too, which is a big help for use," Jeter said.

Several members of the company, including Jeter, have seen thermal imagers in action and are impressed with their performance.

"We have been looking for more than a year for a way to pay for one of them," Jeter said.

The rest of the money will go for command vests for identification and a hazmat diking system for small spills.

Several other Washington County fire departments also are receiving federal grant money.

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In September, the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co. got notice of receipt of a $198,000 federal grant, so far the largest allocation in Washington County through the Assistance to Firefighters grant program.

Firefighters from Halfway and Long Meadow also received word in September that they had been awarded at least a portion of their federal grant requests.

Halfway is getting $108,144, while Long Meadow will receive $9,864, according to press releases from the offices of U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes, both D-Md.

In its second year, the 2002 Assistance to Firefighters grant program comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Fire Administration.

More than 19,000 fire departments applied for grants this year and more than 5,000 will receive money, said USFA Administrator R. David Paulison.

Fire departments were able to apply for money for training, firefighting equipment, protective gear, fire prevention programs and firefighting vehicles.

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