Regional grant strategy pays off in Rockwood, New Centerville

September 9, 2018

Two Somerset County fire departments worked together to obtain a quarter of a million dollars in federal grant funding to purchase new equipment.

Rockwood and New Centerville fire departments applied for regional Assistance to Firefighters Grants. The departments received $251,000 to purchase 44 air packs to be split between the two crews.

Chad Lytle, Rockwood’s chief, said that this is the first time he has heard of a Somerset County crew earning a regional grant. First Assistant Chief Adam Lytle said the two departments started applying for the money last year and were turned down.

“We decided to go for a grant together for a better chance,” Adam Lytle said.

Adam Lytle said that it is becoming common for departments to work together for grant funding. By applying regionally, they were able to expand their area to apply for the grants. They were notified that they received the money last week.

“This just goes to show you that we have two departments working very well together,” he said.

Chad Lytle said that both departments’ air bottles were about 15 years old.

“Both departments’ air bottles were getting to the end of their life,” Chad Lytle said. “We were talking about what we were going to do. We would have to save for the next six years to get these air packs if the federal grant didn’t go through.”

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