Press Release

December 6, 2007

Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced three Western Maryland fire departments have been awarded a total of $290,044 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 Gorman Volunteer Fire Department in Garrett County will use its $56,995 to purchase new turn out gear and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units.  This is the first award for the department.  For more information, call Chief Michael Steyer at 301-334-3979.  Since 2001, Garrett County fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) departments have been awarded $671,941 in AFGP funds. 

The Flintstone Volunteer Fire Company in Allegany County will use its $37,349 to purchase 20 sets of turn out gear.  This is the second award for the department.  In 2001, the department was awarded $59,850.  For more information, call Paul Porta at 301-478-2311.  Since 2001, Allegany County fire and EMS departments have been awarded $3,201,927 in AFGP funds. 

The Williamsport Volunteer Fire Company in Washington County will use its $195,700 to purchase new turn out gear and SCBA units.  This is the third award for the department.  In 2003, it was awarded $94,860, and in 2004 it received $135,900.  For more information, call Captain William Ball at 301-223-9500.  Since 2001, Washington County fire and EMS departments have been awarded $5,491,389 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 $52.3 million through the AFGP.