HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than $540,000 in grants will be awarded to help Pennsylvania's rural communities guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard J. Allan announced today.
"A total of 141 volunteer fire companies across the state, all serving rural areas and communities where forest and brush fires are common, will benefit from these funds," Allan said. "One only has to look to the West earlier this summer to the horrific fires in Colorado to appreciate the value of having well-equipped and highly trained wildfire fighters."
Local firefighting forces in rural areas or communities with fewer than 10,000 residents may qualify for the aid. Last year, the grant program awarded $699,000 to 160 fire companies across the state.
"The readiness of these men and women is demonstrated every spring and summer when they answer assistance calls coming from other states, while also responding regularly to local woodland and brush fires," Allan said. "These federal grants allow firefighters from smaller companies to concentrate more on public safety and training while easing their fiscal constraints."
Grant recipients were named following review of fire company applications meeting a May 2012 deadline. Grants and other assistance are provided through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Bureau of Forestry, with funding supplied by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service through the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978.
The key objective is to better equip and train volunteers to save lives and protect property in unprotected or inadequately protected rural areas. Grant recipients are selected based on vulnerability and adequacy of existing fire protection. In reviewing applications, the bureau placed priority on applications seeking funds for projects that included purchasing wildfire-suppression equipment and protective clothing.
Grants were also awarded for mobile or portable radios, water supply installations, wildfire prevention and mitigation, wildfire fighting training, and to convert and maintain federal excess vehicles the bureau receives and uses for fire suppression.
Grants for any project during a fiscal year cannot exceed 50 percent of the actual expenditures. The maximum grant size was $7,500.
Aid is granted on a cost-share basis, with recipients supplying matching funds. The bureau will begin accepting applications for 2013's grant program next spring.
To expedite the application and decision-making processes, the bureau accepts only online applications. Potential applicants should visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us and click on "Apply for Grants," then "Online Grant Applications" and "DCNR Volunteer Fire Assistance."
Grant information can be obtained from the Bureau of Forestry Division of Forest Fire Protection in Harrisburg. Call 717-787-2925 or visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us and click on "State Forests" under "Quick Links."
Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101
Editor's Note: The following grants, listed by county, were awarded:
Adams: Cashtown Community Fire Department, Cashtown, $3,384; Lake Meade Fire & Rescue Inc., East Berlin, $7,500;
Allegheny: Cheswick Volunteer Fire Co., Cheswick, $7,500; Heidelberg Volunteer Fire Department, Carnegie, $3,825; Imperial Volunteer Fire Department, Imperial, $7,500; Millvale Volunteer Fire Department, Pittsburgh, $6,000;
Armstrong: Pine Township Volunteer Fire Co., Templeton, $7,500;
Beaver: Independence Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, Aliquippa, $4,030;
Berks: Berks Emergency Strike Team Inc., Reading, $2,163; Birdsboro-Union Fire, Birdsboro, $6,496; Community Volunteer Fire Co. of Lower Alsace Township, Reading, $2,025; Eastern Berks Fire Department, Barto, $7,500; Hereford Volunteer Fire Co., Hereford, $7,500; Lyons Fire Co. No. 1, Lyon Station, $3,764; Strausstown Volunteer Fire Co. Relief Association, Strausstown, $2,742; Western Berks Fire Department, Wenersville, $3,465;
Blair: Lakemont Volunteer Fire Co., Altoona, $4,725; Phoenix Steam Fire Engine Co. No. 1, Hollidaysburg, $3,470; Pinecroft Volunteer Fire Department, Altoona, $3,300;
Bradford: Ulster Sheshequin Fire Association, Ulster, $4,000;
Bucks: Delaware Valley Volunteer Fire Co. Inc., Erwinna, $1,400; Springtown Community Volunteer Fire Co., Springtown, $2,751;
Butler: Oakland Township Oneida Valley, Butler, $7,500; Sarver Volunteer Fire Co., Sarver, $7,500;
Cambria: Ashville Fire Co., Ashville, $1,718; Cambria Township Volunteer Fire Co., Colver, $7,500; Hope Fire Co., Northern Cambria, $1,000; Oakland Volunteer Fire Co., Johnstown, $5,958; Portage Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, Portage, $3,000; Reade Volunteer Fire Co. Inc., Blandburg, $2,590; Summerhill Township Volunteer Fire Co., Beaverdale, $4,233; Wilmore Volunteer Fire Co., Sidman, $7,500;
Carbon: Bowmanstown Volunteer Fire Co., Bowmanstown, $7,020; Citizens' Fire Co. No. 1, Weatherly, $1,733;
Centre: Hope Fire Co. No. 2, Philipsburg, $1,598; Pine Glen Volunteer Fire Co., Karthaus, $3,286; Reliance Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, Philipsburg, $2,534;
Chester: Honey Brook Fire Co. No. 1, Honey brook, $7,500;
Clarion: Clarion Fire and Hose Co. No. 1, Clarion, $7,500; Farmington Township Volunteer Fire Co., Leeper, $7,500;
Clearfield: Community Volunteer Fire Department of Mahaffey, Mahaffey, $7,000; Karthaus Volunteer Fire Department, Karthaus, $7,430;
Clinton: Beech Creek - Blanchard Volunteer Fire Co., Beech Creek, $3,750; Dunnstown Fire Co., Lock Haven, $2,400; Woolrich Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, Woolrich, $7,500;
Columbia: Benton Volunteer Fire Co., Benton, $7,500; Mifflin Township Volunteer, Mifflinville, $1,145; Montour Township Fire Co., Bloomsburg, $1,000;
Crawford: Springboro Volunteer Fire Department & Relief Association Inc., Springboro, $900; Townville Volunteer Fire Department, Townville, $3,500;
Cumberland: Friendship Hose Co. No. 1 Inc., Newville, $7,500; Upper Frankford Township Volunteer Fire Co., Newville, $7,500;
Dauphin: Halifax Fire Department, Halifax, $2,790; Liberty Hose Co. No. 2, Lykens, $1,000; Millersburg Fire Co. No. 1, Millersburg, $7,057; Pillow Fire Company, Pillow, $3,000;
Elk: Jay Township Volunteer Fire Co., Byrnedale, $1,425;
Erie: Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department Inc., Edinboro, $2,172; Perry Hi-Way Hose Co. Inc., Erie, $4,000; Springfield Volunteer Fire Department, East Springfield, $7,200; Stancliff Hose Co., Waterford, $2,663; Stanford Hose Co., Corry, $1,620; Wattsburg Hose Co., Wattsburg, $5,250
Franklin: Fannett-Metal Fire & Ambulance Co. Inc., Dry Run, $1,545; Saint Thomas Township Fire & Rescue, Saint Thomas, $500; West End Fire & Rescue Co., Shippensburg, $6,128;
Huntingdon: Stone Creek Valley Volunteer Fire Co., Petersburg, $1,250;
Indiana: Coral-Graceton Volunteer Fire Co., Coral, $7,500; Rossiter Volunteer Fire Co. Inc., Rossiter, $7,500; Young Mens Volunteer Fire Co., Blairsville, $6,977;
Jefferson: Knox Township Volunteer Fire Department, Knoxdale, $1,200;
Juniata: Delaware Township Fire Co. No. 6, Mifflintown, $1,881; Richfield Fire Co., Richfield, $3,103; Thompsontown Volunteer Fire Co., Thompsontown, $4,050;
Lackawanna: Volunteer Hose Co. of Throop, Throop, $7,500; Wilson Fire Co, No. 1, Peckville, $3,525;
Lancaster: Brickerville Fire Co. No. 1, Lititz, $5,908; Caernarvon Fire Co., Narvon, $1,532; Conestoga Volunteer Fire Co., Conestoga, $4,250; Keystone Wildfire Crew Inc., Holtwood, $4,125;
Lebanon: Neptune Volunteer Fire Co., Richland, $4,844;
Lehigh: Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Co., Allentown, $4,050;
Luzerne: Dallas Fire and Ambulance Inc., Dallas, $7,500; Dorrance Township Volunteer Fire, Wapwallopen, $2,774; Franklin Township Volunteer Fire, Dallas, $2,600; Hazle Township Volunteer Fire & Rescue Co., Hazle Township, $1,990; Salem Township Volunteer Fire Department, Salem Township, $7,500;
Lycoming: Eldred Township Volunteer Fire Co., Montoursville, $5,000; Old Lycoming Township Volunteer Fire Co., Williamsport, $2,000; Plunketts Creek Township Volunteer Fire Department, Williamsport, $2,579;
McKean: Bradford Township Volunteer, Bradford, $1,561; Kane Volunteer Fire Department Inc., Kane, $2,900;
Mifflin: Decatur Volunteer Fire Co., Lewistown, $3,750; Granville Fire Co., Granville, $2,000; Mifflin County Forest Fire Fighter, Lewistown, $5,375; Reedsville Volunteer Fire Co., Reedsville, $1,369;
Monroe: Coolbaugh Township Volunteer Fire Co., Tobyhanna, $6,000; Kunkletown Volunteer Fire Co., Kunkletown, $3,335;
Montgomery: Worcester Volunteer Fire Department, Worcester, $1,505;
Montour: Valley Township Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, Danville, $7,500;
Northampton: Allen Township Fire Co., Northampton, $3,100; Washington Township Volunteer Fire Co., Bangor, $3,865;
Northumberland: Herndon Fire Co. No. 1, Herndon, $7,500; Stonington Volunteer Fire Co., Sunbury, $3,835; Strong Fire Co., Strong, $5,000; Tuckahoe Volunteer Fire Co., Northumberland, $2,500; Union Fire Co., Coal Township, $500;
Perry: Ickesburg Volunteer Fire Co., Ickesburg, $1,035;
Pike: Blooming Grove Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 1 Inc., Lords Valley, $3,525; Bushkill Volunteer Fire Co., Bushkill, $3,385; Delaware Township Volunteer Fire Co., Dingmans Ferry, $3,860; Dingman Township Volunteer Fire, Milford, $7,500; Mill Rift Fire Department Inc., Mill Rift, $2,500;
Potter: Germania Fire Co., Galeton, $6,957; Goodyear Hose Co. No. 1 Inc., Galeton, $2,380;
Schuylkill: Polish American Fire Co. No. 4, Shenandoah, $750; Rangers Hose Co., Girardvile, $800; South Ward Fire Co. Inc., Tamaqua, $3,000;
Snyder: Beaver Springs Fire Co., Beaver Springs, $1,845;
Somerset: New Baltimore & Area Volunteer Fire Department, New Baltimore, $2,218;
Sullivan: Mildred Volunteer Fire Co., Mildred, $7,500;
Susquehanna: Great Bend Hose Co. No. 1, Great Bend, $3,879;
Tioga: Knoxville-Deerfield Volunteer Fire Co., Knoxville, $396; Millerton Volunteer Fire Department Inc., Millerton, $800; Wellsboro Fire Department, Wellsboro, $4,153;
Union: Union Township Fire Co., Winfield, $7,000;
Venango: President Township Volunteer Fire Department, Oil City, $5,553;
Washington: Amwell Township Volunteer Fire Department, Amity, $3,940; Bentleyville Volunteer Fire Department, Bentleyville, $7,500; Charleroi Fire Department, Charleroi, $1,949; Lock 4 Volunteer Fire Co., North Charleroi, $5,500;
Wayne: Alert Hook & Ladder Co. No. 2, Honesdale, $938; Browndale Fire Co. No. 1, Forest City, $3,750; Lake Ariel Volunteer Fire Co., Lake Ariel, $3,000;
Westmoreland: Darlington Volunteer Fire, Ligonier, $1,247; New Stanton Volunteer Fire Department, New Stanton, $1,000; Rostraver Central Volunteer Fire Co., Belle Vernon, $3,041;
York: Porters Community Fire Co., Spring Grove, $2,250; Southern York County Forest Fire Crew Inc., Glen Rock, $2,100; Susquehanna Fire Co. No. 1, York Haven, $5,705; Wellsville Volunteer Fire Co., Wellsville, $7,500.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources