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Maugansville fire company to get new tanker

December 29, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

MAUGANSVILLE - Like a child on a mall Santa's lap, the Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co. hoped to be getting a new truck for Christmas.

The company found out a few days before the holiday that a federal grant would make having a brand new tanker truck a reality.

U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes, both D-Md., announced last week that the Maugansville company was awarded $225,000 through a Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters grant.

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According to a news release from Mikulski's office, the company applied for the grant to purchase a new tanker truck to haul water into rural areas.

Maugansville Chief Phillip Ridenour said the company needed to replace a tanker truck that has been in use since 1975 but could not do so in the past because "the money was just not there."

Ridenour said the company wanted a more modern, reliable tanker because nearly one-third of its coverage area is in rural communities where there is no access to hydrants.

"With a tanker, that's going to be 3,000 gallons of water. That in combination with the 1,000 (gallons) we'll have with the first-line engine that will be there, we should be capable of controlling a fire, if not extinguishing it," Ridenour said.

In 2004, more than 20,000 departments nationwide sought funding totaling more than $2.6 billion through the department's Assistance to Firefighters grant program.

Since 2001, more than a dozen Washington County fire departments have received more than $2 million through the federal program, according to Mikulski's office.

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