Press Release

December 21, 2007


Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski
(both D-Md.) today announced the Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George’s County has been awarded $36,345 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 Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department will use its $36,345 to purchase new rescue tools. This is the third award for the department. In 2005, the department was awarded $115,139 to purchase new communications equipment and two thermal imaging cameras. In 2006, it received $94,548 to purchase four Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) kits, and to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the station. For more information, call Alfred Schwartz at 301-937-3160.

Since 2001, Prince George’s County fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) departments have been awarded nearly $7.3 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 $53.1 million through the AFGP.