March 16, 2007

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE $271,083 FOR CALVERT COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced the St. Leonard Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad in Calvert County has been awarded a total of $271,083 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.

"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."

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 $46.4 million through the AFGP.

The St. Leonard Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad has been awarded $271,083 to purchase 50 new sets of turn out gear, 25 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units, and a Cascade Air Supply system for replenishing their air tanks. For more information, call Chief Monty Parks at 410-586-1713.

This is the first award for the department and the second award for a Calvert County fire department this funding cycle. The Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Service received a grant award of $189,845 in January.