The Hughesville Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad received more than $160,000 in federal funds to improve operations and safety through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
The department applied for grant funding to replace all of its self-contained breathing apparatus equipment.
U.S. Rep Steny H. Hoyer announced the department;s award last week.
Hughesville VFD President Steven Cook said that the department needs to replace all of the breathing apparatus, which he said would cost about $250,000.
When budgeting each year and thinking of the big-ticket items, such as the breathing apparatus, members got to talking about the possibility of receiving grant funding. Late last year, the department wrote a grant and sent it in for consideration by the AFG program. For several months, the department could only wait and see how it would turn out.
He said the department requested $170,500 to replace 31 SCBAs, which he said cost $5,500 apiece. While the department needs to replace all 40, he said he didn’t want to ask for too much in the grant. To keep the number conservative, he asked for funding for all but nine.
The department was awarded $161,975, and the department will put up a five percent match.
Cook said he was pleased with the results because replacing all 40 packs, with the help of federal funding, will cost the department less than $50,000.
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