The Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company says it has been selected to receive a $278,711 federal grant that will be used to replace its firefighters' self-contained breathing apparatus.

The fire company announced Sunday it had been notified by the office of U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski it will receive a Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grant.

"This grant will be utilized to replace 40 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) used by our responders," the fire company said in a news release. "Additionally, through the sale of the existing SCBA currently in use, FVFAC should be able to cover the 5 percent matching funds required by the guidelines of the grant program."

"By replacing our existing SCBA which are more than 10 years old, FVFAC responders will have access to the latest technological advancements in breathing apparatus which relates to a safer environment for our members to perform our work," FVFAC Chief Will Rosenberg said in the news release.

According to the fire company, benefits of the newer SCBA include longer duration working time in a hazardous atmosphere, advanced Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) devices and better vocal communication when using the air masks.

"These innovations will help us to see that 'everyone goes home,' which is the most important thing we do for our personnel," Rosenberg said.

"This grant is the largest that the FVFAC has received, tripling our prior high award," the fire company's news release states. "It will allow FVFAC to continue our solid financial platform while moving forward with other projects."

The award of this grant is the culmination of an extensive amount of work by many people, the fire company said.

The majority of the front end work for the grant application process was carried out by FVFAC Assistant Chief Robert Stanton and the fire company's grant writer, according to the fire company's news release.

Without this initial work and the efforts of several other officers and administrative staff of FVFAC "behind the scenes" helping to forward requested information and working on the online registration, this grant would have not been possible, the fire company's news release adds.