March 08, 2007

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE $361,843 IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR WESTERN MARYLAND FIREFIGHTERS

Susan Sullam: 410-962-4436

Oren Shur: 202-224-4524


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Benjamin L. Cardin and Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that three Western Maryland fire departments have been awarded a total of $361,843 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 more than $46.1 million through the AFGP.

The Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Company in Washington County will use its $118,672 to upgrade their communications equipment and replace 28 air cylinders. This is the second award for the department. In 2004, the department was awarded $112,500 to purchase a mini-pumper. For more information, call Chief Darryl Benner at 301-432-6321.

The Fairplay Volunteer Fire Company in Washington County will use its $116,921 to purchase 18 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units with spare cylinders, 18 complete sets of turn out gear and a Rapid Intervention Team Kit. This is the first award for the department under the AFGP. For more information, call Chief Mark Kopp at 301-582-0099.

The Corriganville Volunteer Fire Company in Allegany County will use its $126,250 to upgrade their communications equipment, and to purchase 18 sets of turn out gear, 10 new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units and a thermal imaging camera. This is the first award for the department under the AFGP. For more information, call Jeffrey DeHaven at 301-722-7418.