January 31, 2008

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE FEDERAL FUNDING FOR BALTIMORE COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Rosedale Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $30,756 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.

"I know how important this funding is to Maryland communities - often it's the difference between life and death. First responders protect our homes and communities, and the federal government has a responsibility to protect them by providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs safer and smarter," said Senator Mikulski. "Every day when our first responders report for duty, they don't know what they will face. That's why I fight every year for the equipment, training, and staffing our protectors and communities deserve."

"First responders have always been on the front lines, keeping our families and our neighborhoods safe from harm. I thank these brave men and women for their continuing service and sense of duty to our community," said Senator Cardin. "I am proud to support federal investment through local grants like this, which is essential to ensure our community heroes have the equipment and training they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently."

The Rosedale Volunteer Fire Department in Baltimore County will use its $30,756 to purchase new equipment, including a thermal imaging camera, rescue air bags and nozzles. This is the fourth award for the department. In 2004, it was awarded $56,070 to install a new diesel exhaust system. In 2005, the department received $71,250 to purchase an emergency generator and hydraulic rescue tools, and in 2006, it received $64,211 to purchase new turn out gear and hoses. Since 2001, Baltimore County fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received more than $5.9 million in AFGP funding. For more information, call Steve Barry at 410-866-4042.

In his 2008 budget, President Bush only requested $287 million for the AFGP, down from $547 million last year. The Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee increased funding to $560 million in the omnibus spending package that the President signed into law in December. It also includes $190 million, an increase of $75 million, for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants, also under the AFGP. President Bush's budget eliminated funding for SAFER grants for the second year in a row.

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 more than $56.7 million through the AFGP.