December 21, 2007


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Company in Washington County has been awarded $38,000 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP).  Senator Mikulski is on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the AFGP and fights each year to increase its federal funding.  Senator Cardin is on the Budget Committee.

"First responders are our true heroes - protecting our homes, our businesses and our communities.  I'm grateful for the sacrifices they make every day," said Senator Mikulski.  "The federal government has a responsibility to protect our protectors, providing them with the tools they need to do their job safer and smarter.  That's why I will continue to fight to provide the federal support they need to get the equipment, training and resources they deserve."

"Firefighter grants represent a major effort by the Federal government to ensure that our nation's first responders have the equipment and training they need to do the job," said Senator Cardin.  "Our firefighters are on the frontlines every day, and it is critical that they have the resources to deal with any emergency or life-threatening situation they may have to confront."

The Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Company will use its $38,000 to purchase an emergency generator.  This is the third award for the department.  In 2004, the department was awarded $112,500 to purchase a quick attack mini-pumper.  In 2006, it received $118,672 to purchase new communications equipment, a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) kit and new air cylinders.  For more information, call Chief Darryl Benner at 301-432-6321.  Since 2001, Washington County fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) departments have been awarded more than $5.7 million in AFGP funds.

AFGP grants fund firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects, and staffing recruitment and retention.  Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and fire service organizations have received approximately $53.1 million through the AFGP.