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County fire stations receive grant money

September 15, 2005|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

erinc@herald-mail.com

Two Washington County fire stations received federal grant money Friday.

Mount Aetna Volunteer Fire Co. in Hagerstown received a $266,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to purchase a new firetruck, Deputy Fire Chief Tony Veney said. The grant is the largest single grant the station has received.

"It is something the station needs," Veney said of the new firetruck.

The new pumper truck will replace a 23-year-old firetruck, he said. The grant money will not cover the full cost of the engine, and the company will have to contribute some money, but Veney said the station would not be able to purchase the engine without the grant.

Mount Aetna Volunteer Fire Co. used a federal grant it received last year to replace aging breathing apparatus and hoses and to purchase a backup generator for the station.

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Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co. received nearly $44,000, which will be used to buy a backup electricity generator for the fire station, President Ed Shindle said.

"Over five or six years, we've been trying to get a generator to power our station in case of emergencies, but we've been unable to afford it," Shindle said.

Shindle said the station is an American Red Cross shelter, and is used during emergencies. The generator will provide electricity for residents who go to the station during an emergency, he said.

Emmitsburg (Md.) Volunteer Ambulance Co. also received federal funding. The station will use its $118,750 grant to purchase a vehicle.

This year, the Department of Homeland Security will issue about 5,500 grants worth $600 million to firefighters and first responders across the country through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, officials said.

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