November 15, 2007

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE FEDERAL FUNDING FOR CECIL COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the North East Fire Company in North East has been awarded $39,662 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 North East Fire Company in Cecil County will use its $39,662 to purchase 20 additional sets of turn out gear. This is the third award for the Company.  In 2004, the department received $171,450 for turn out gear and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units, and in 2003 it was awarded $270,000 to purchase a new pumper tanker.  For more information, call Shawn Day at 410-287-8222.

This the second award for a Cecil County Fire Department this award cycle.  Earlier this year, the Volunteer Fire Co. of Chesapeake City was awarded $54,188.

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 $52.4 million through the AFGP.