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Eight Carroll volunteer fire companies awarded federal dollars to help make up for lost revenue from COVID-19

Eight Carroll County volunteer fire companies departments were awarded federal dollars through the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to provide some financial support after many departments lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MEMA announced awards of $4 million in federal funding made available through the Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families Act of 2021. The agency will distribute these funds to 181 volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue departments throughout the State of Maryland to assist with hardship relief from COVID-19.

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With assistance from the Maryland State Firemen’s Association, MEMA and the Maryland Military Department advertised the availability of the special funding to the volunteer fire and EMS service in each county throughout Maryland. The counties of Allegany (20 applicants), Baltimore (20 applicants), and Frederick (21 applicants) led the state in applications for RELIEF funding, and received $382,000, $390,000, and $654,000 respectively.

“This funding provides much needed financial support to the volunteer fire service for lost revenue as a result of COVID-19 during 2020,” Russell Strickland, MEMA’s executive director, said.

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Of the more than 350 volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue departments, 181 applied for support from the RELIEF Act of 2021. The Maryland General Assembly enacted the RELIEF Act of 2021 to provide needed relief to the volunteer fire service as a result of the loss of fund-raising revenue during the past year.

“We are grateful to the Maryland General Assembly and Gov. Larry Hogan for helping to make this funding a reality,” Strickland added.

Carroll County submitted eight applications and was awarded a total of $284,730.82.

Jim Dwyer, president of the Hampstead Volunteer Fire Company said the local departments applied for these funds to offset 2021 fundraising money we lost because of events the companies could not conduct, such as bingos, dances and summer carnivals.

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“We very much appreciate the $9,000 in aid from MEMA,” he said. “These funds will go directly to offset our costs on capital expenditures such as our new engine we placed in service in January and the new Fire Station and Event Center we are building over the next two years. "

Capital expenditures such as fire equipment, medic units and buildings are the responsibility of the fire companies and are not reimbursed or funded by the county, he said.

The following is a list and breakdown of the Carroll County volunteer fire and EMS departments that applied for and received funding provided pursuant to the RELIEF Fund Act of 2021:

Pleasant Valley Community Fire Co.: $79,034.59

Reese and Community Volunteer Fire Department: $65,586.45

New Windsor Volunteer Fire Co.: $55,742.73

Manchester Volunteer Fire Co.: $44,978.78

Gamber and Commumity Fire Co.: $15,943.49

Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Co.: $9,268.93

Hampstead Volunteer Fire and Hose Co.: $9,175.86

Union Bridge Fire Co.: $5,000

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