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Halfway Volunteer Fire Co. receives federal grant to buy safety devices

September 24, 2012|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • The Volunteer Fire Co. of Halfway has received a federal grant. The purpose of Assistance to Firefighters Grants is to protect the health and safety of the community and first responders.
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The Volunteer Fire Co. of Halfway has received a $63,360 federal grant to put smoke detectors and other safety devices in more than 5,000 homes.

Firefighter Dave Donohue said he applied for the grant in April from the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grants program. The Halfway firefighters found out Wednesday night that they received the money.

“It will just give us another tool to meet our mission and protect our neighbors,” Donohue said. “Does it provide more firefighters? No. Does it provide more gear? No. But it saves lives.”

Fire Chief Nick Dattilio said firefighters will use the grant to buy smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, night lights, non-slip bath mats and two-sided tape to secure throw rugs.

He said Halfway fire officials will write press releases to notify the public before the company’s 40 active firefighters start installing the devices next month.

“It will probably be at least a yearlong process,” Dattilio said of the amount of time he believed it would take firefighters to distribute the items to 5,000 homes.

Donohue said that in addition to delivering the smoke detectors and other items, firefighters will offer educational tips during their visits, such as water-safety advice to residents with swimming pools and the importance of child-safety seats to residents with young children.

He said U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., stopped by the station Thursday night to congratulate the fire company for being awarded the grant.

“I am really proud of the Volunteer Fire Co. of Halfway for winning this federal grant that will contribute to improving the safety of the residents of the county,” Bartlett said in a news release that was issued before his Thursday visit. “Our first-responder capabilities for residents, businesses and government installations are the best in the Baltimore-Washington region.”

Assistance to Firefighters Grants are awarded to fire departments and EMS organizations that are unaffiliated with a hospital. The purpose of the grants is to protect the health and safety of the community and first responders. 

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