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Fire departments get grants

November 11, 2005

Two Washington County fire departments have been awarded a total of $486,000 in federal money, Maryland's two U.S. senators announced Thursday.

The money is from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, according to a news release from U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes, both Maryland Democrats.

The Volunteer Fire Co. of Halfway, Md., will use $390,000 to buy self-contained breathing apparatus units, the news release says.

The package will include spare bottles, portable radios and two thermal imaging cameras.

The news release says this is the largest award to a volunteer fire company in Maryland this year.

The First Hose Co. of Boonsboro will use $96,000 in grant money to fire a full-time firefighter for 60 hours of staffing coverage a week.

After five years, the fire department will pick up the full cost of the position, the news release says.

So far, Boonsboro has been awarded $428,000 in grants to buy equipment, including $66,000 earlier this year for a compressed air foam system for an engine.

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Mikulski is on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

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