Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department nets grant to aid water rescues

The Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department was recently awarded $47,610 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant.

According to a release from the offices of U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin, the money will go toward the purchase of water rescue equipment and other firefighting equipment.

"The brave men and women of the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department lost their fire station nearly two years ago (in a fire)," Mikulski said. "I am proud that this grant program can help them get back on their feet so they can continue to protect and serve the community."

The grant funds will allow Sykesville Freedom District Volunteer Fire Department to purchase 26 water rescue kits to help respond to water emergencies, including those on the Liberty Reservoir.

Funds will also be used to purchase two rope rescue team kits, which includes equipment to help respond to rope rescues, rappelling and confined space rescue.

Additionally, the fire department will purchase updated power tools.

AFGP grants fund firefighting equipment, protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects and staffing recruitment and retention, as well as public fire safety education.

Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and emergency medical services units have received nearly $105 million in AFGP funding, nearly $2 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in Carroll County.

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