WEST CHESTER (October 14) – Senator Dinniman announced that three Chester County  fire companies will receive more than $13,000 in state funding to guard against the threat of forest fires, brush fires, and fires in other rural areas.

“Chester County is home to some of the best and most well-trained firefighters in the nation, and these grants will help ensure that we keep it that way,” Dinniman, who serves on the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said. “These grants are specifically designed to support smaller fire companies and those in more rural areas with equipment, firefighters-1243435_1280preparation, and training.”

The grants, administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, are as follows:

The grant funding will primarily be used to better equip and train volunteers to save lives and protect property in rural areas. Grants were also awarded for mobile or portable radios, water supply installations, wildfire prevention and mitigation, wildfire fighting training, and to convert and maintain vehicles the bureau receives and uses for fire suppression.

Chester County’s three grant recipients were part of more than 142 volunteer companies statewide that received more than $604,000 in total grant funding.

Eligible applicants included local firefighting forces in rural area or communities with fewer than 10,000 residents. Grant recipients were 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.

Aid is granted on a cost-share basis, with recipients supplying matching funds. Grants for any project during a fiscal year cannot exceed 50 percent of the actual expenditures. The maximum grant awarded was $7,500.

The bureau will begin accepting 2017 applications next spring.

To expedite the application and decision-making processes, the bureau accepts only online applications. Potential applicants should visit www.dcnr.pa.gov 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 “Forestry.”

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