Press Release

December 21, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Benjamin L. Cardin andBarbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Baltimore City Fire Department has been awarded nearly $1.43 million 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 Baltimore City Fire Department will use its nearly $1.43 million to purchase 1,200 sets of turn out gear, including jackets and pants. This is the largest grant award for the department to date. For more information, call Kevin Cartwright at 410-396-5616.

The department has received five previous awards under the AFGP totaling nearly $4.37 million. In 2001, it was awarded $301,000 for operations and safety programs. In 2002, it received $632,800 for a Fire Prevention and Arson Investigation program. In 2004, it received $371,910 for communications equipment and a $336,900 Fire Prevention and Safety Grant. In 2005, it was awarded more than $1.3 million to purchase interoperable communications equipment.

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.