CECILTON, MARYLAND -- The Cecilton Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. (CVFC) was notified by Senator Chris Van Hollen’s office that they have been awarded $150,238.09 in competitive grant funds through the Department of Homeland Security’s FY 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to replace expiring Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program provides direct assistance to fire departments and emergency medical service organizations to provide critically needed resources.
SCBA is a vital component of a firefighter’s personal protective equipment and prevents him or her from inhaling toxic chemicals and carcinogens. Each SCBA unit has a life span of a maximum of fifteen years and cannot be utilized past its expiration date. CVFC is replacing a total of thirty-three expiring units over the next several months. The cost of each SCBA and face piece combination is approximately $7200. The total cost of the project exceeds $237,000. “CVFC relies heavily on the generous support of our community through donations and fundraising efforts to cover the annual operational expenses of our organization,” says CVFC President Deanna Sakers. “However,” she continued, “rising costs make it difficult to plan for future capital expenditures such as the replacement of SCBA and other fire gear. This grant is truly a lifeline for our organization and will ensure that our volunteers are able to continue providing vital, lifesaving services to our community for years to come.”
“We are extremely pleased to be able to upgrade our outdated SCBA,” said Fire Chief Jason Reamy. “The grant funds will replace twenty-two of our thirty-three expiring units and will enable us to outfit our volunteers with the proper equipment to keep them safe while enabling us to continue our mission of providing service to others,” Reamy said.
Both Sakers and Reamy expressed gratitude to CVFC’s members, Board of Directors, and their grant committee for their commitment to secure funding for this project. Sakers said, “Our volunteers are some of the most committed community members you will find. Not only do they spend countless hours training and providing emergency services, but they spend a great deal of time working behind the scenes fundraising and seeking grant funds.” She added, “We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Ron Benedict of Fire Grant Experts located in Arlington, Virginia for helping us submit a successful grant application.”