April 22, 2010

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE OVER $900,000 IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ARSON INVESTIGATORS

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced International Association of Arson Investigators, headquartered in Crofton, Anne Arundel County, received $986,850 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 a member of the Budget Committee, which each year sets priorities for funding to federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.        

 

"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 in grants like this that will provide the special training that is needed to fully investigate fires and make a determination regarding arson." 

 

 "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, staffing and training, including specialty training like arson investigation, which our protectors and communities deserve."

 

 The International Association of Arson Investigators will use the funding to develop and enhance its distance learning programs for those seeking the designation of Arson Investigator. Funded through the Fire Prevention and Safety program area of the AFGP, the distance learning program will be available to departments across the United States.

 

AFGP grants fund firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects, and staffing recruitment and retention, as well as public fire safety education.  Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received over $80 million in AFGP funding.