Press Release

August 15, 2014
Cardin, Mikulski Announce Federal Funding To Purchase Life-Saving Firefighting Equipment In Somerset County

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Company has been awarded $71,820 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase life-saving firefighting equipment.


“When the men and women of the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department respond to a call they deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing they have the right equipment to protect their community,” said Senator Cardin. “I am proud to fight for the federal investments that help make sure the brave men and women safeguarding our families make it home safe to their own.”


“I know how important this funding is to Maryland communities – often it’s the difference between life and death. 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,” Senator Mikulski said. “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, training, and staffing our protectors and communities deserve.”


The Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Company will use the competitive award to purchase approximately 30 sets of Turnout Gear. The new sets of gear will replace Mt. Vernon’s 10 year-old gear which is out of date and no longer provides adequate fire protection to first responders. Each new set of gear will include boots, pants, a coat, gloves and a helmet. For more information, please contact Lucinda Pietroski at 410-651-2100.


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 more than $142.5 million in fire grant funding, almost $1.3 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in Somerset County.