Feb. 03--Baltimore Gas and Electric Company has awarded Howard County's West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department and Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company with a combined total of $10,000 in grant funding to enhance fire and rescue equipment at each station.
"Our volunteer partners are vital to keeping our communities safe," said Fire Chief John S. Butler, in a statement. "Working side by side with these members provides the best possible care and attention to our residents. These increased assets will serve to benefit all of Howard County."
The West Friendship department applied for fire suppression equipment and cold/warm water rescue apparatus through a grant request, said Maria Hogg, spokeswoman for the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue.
"In addition to responding to the Patapsco River, Hogg said, the station also keeps an eye on roughly 275 lakes, ponds, and storm water management areas. By enhancing the fire suppression arsenal with Baltimore Gas and Electric Company's $5,000 grant, the station can improve capabilities to put out fires in these types of remote structures. Hogg said the equipment will also help the station in their response to community emergencies and ensure the safety of both the public and its personnel.
Another $5,000 will be going toward improvements at the Lisbon department, where volunteers are often called to vehicle rescues along major commuter roads, such as Interstate 70 and Routes 32 and 97.
Relying heavily on hydraulic hand jacks and other rescue equipment, Hogg said the company's methods were a bit labor intensive and time consuming. However, the company will be using its grant funds to purchase a "high lift airbag" that more effectively and safely assists victims in trapped vehicles as well as building collapses and incidents offshore.
Both departments will be recognized at a formal grant awardees and networking event on Feb. 8 at the Maryland Food Bank at 2200 Halethorpe Farms Road in Baltimore.
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