Six volunteer fire companies in Indiana, Armstrong, Clearfield and Butler counties were recently awarded state grants for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires, according to a release from State Sen. Don White, R-Indiana.
Receiving grants were three Indiana County fire departments: Commodore, $3,750; Marion Center, $5,000; and Saltsburg, $7,500; one in Armstrong County, Parks Township, Vandergrift, $7,500; Westover, in Clearfield County, $7,500; and Chicora Community Hose & Relief, in Butler County, $1,160.
The grants of up to $7,500 were offered to volunteer fire companies serving rural areas and communities with fewer than 10,000 residents and where forest and brush fires are common.
“Even the most experienced firefighters are walking into danger every time they respond to a call, as evidenced earlier this year when 19 responders died in the line of duty fighting a wildfire in Arizona,” White said in a press release. “These grants will help our local volunteer fire companies purchase equipment or receive vital training that will better prepare them to fight wildfires.”
Funds from the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program, administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, may be used for purchasing mobile or portable radios, installing dry hydrants, performing wildfire prevention and mitigation work, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining federal excess vehicles to be used for fire suppression.