2011-02-10 / Front Page

MVFC Awarded Sizeable Grant

Federal funds awarded for communications equipment
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz
STAFF WRITER

Having a company member with extensive grant writing knowledge as well as the backing of U.S. Congressman Bill Shuster, the McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. is again the lucky recipient of much-needed federal funding.

On Friday, Congressman Shuster announced MVFC has been awarded grant money in the amount of $157,729 through the Federal Emergency Management

Agency.

“This is great news for firefighters in McConnellsburg,” Shuster said. “This grant will enable the fire company to utilize the best communications equipment possible to keep in contact with all emergency service personnel in the county.”

According to company Chief Pete Lynch, this grant is the third consecutive year the company has received funding through FEMA, with the 2011 amount being the largest to date.

The funding has already been earmarked to bring the company into compliance with new governmental standards for communications equipment in 2012. The equipment will include new and upgraded mobile or portable equipment for fire apparatus that will allow MVFC to communicate with Franklin and surrounding counties. Franklin County already has its new system up and running, Lynch noted.

In previous years, Lynch said the company has used the grant to purchase larger items such as 24 self-contained breathing apparatus valued at $3,000 each; a $12,000 thermal imaging camera; 12 sets of turnout gear at $2,500 apiece; and a $15,000 9,000-kilowatt light tower.

Lynch stated company mem- bers are truly thankful they do not have to face the hardships that fellow fire companies may undergo in meeting the government standards with little funding. He added the company would not have been able to secure the grant without the knowledge and grant writing assistance of member Donna Welsh.

“Donna spent countless hours writing these grants and without her hard work and effort none of this would have been possible,” he said.

“We’re also very appreciative of the efforts of Congressman Shuster in supporting this vital program for fire departments nationwide. Without this program it would be difficult to secure quality, up-to-date equipment to better serve and protect our community as well as providing the utmost protection and safety for our firefighters,” Lynch concluded.

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