The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the 2018 Volunteer Fire Assistance grants to 49 volunteer fire departments, including Hancock’s.
The projects, distributed throughout 17 counties, aim to assist volunteer fire companies and departments enhance wildland fire protection in rural areas and communities.
The Maryland Forest Service awarded $104,099 in match funding to complete $245,907 in total projects. The maximum grant awarded was $3,000 per department. The funds are provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Hancock Fire Company received a $3,000 grant toward a $7,595 project.
Hancock Fire Chief Robert Hoopengardner said the pump on Hancock’s brush truck went bad this past spring. The local department replaced it at a cost of $7,595. The Maryland Forest Service grant will go toward that expense.
Hoopengardner said the brush truck is used to respond to brush, field and grass fires in the area.
“This essential grant funding will help equip and train local fire companies and departments throughout the state,” Maryland State Fire Supervisor Monte Mitchell said. “Through this financial and technical assistance to rural volunteer fire departments, we seek to improve emergency response, firefighter safety and wildland fire suppression capabilities.”