January 04, 2008


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin (both D-Md.) today announced the Charles County Rescue Squad has been awarded $28,500 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 Charles County Rescue Squad will use its $28,500 to purchase three hydraulic lift stretchers for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel to use for transporting patients.   This is the second award for the department.   In 2005, they were awarded $61,476 to purchase new EMS turn out gear.   For more information, call Captain Brent Huber at 301-934-4434.   Since 2001, Charles County fire and EMS departments have been awarded nearly $1.18 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 $55 million through the AFGP.