WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that the United Communities Volunteer Fire Company in Stevensville has been awarded $199,222 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.
“You need to be able to breathe and see to fight a fire, and this grant will enable the purchase of self-contained breathing apparatuses, face shields and air filters that will keep firefighters on Kent Island safe in emergency situations,” said Senator Cardin. “I am proud to fight for the federal investments that helps make sure that the brave men and women safeguarding our families have the tools they need to protect our communities and make it home safely 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 United Communities Volunteer Fire Company will use this federal funding to replace 28 sets of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) that are beyond their useful lifespan and no longer compliant with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. The Department will also purchase additional face masks and spare air cylinders. For more information, contact Chief Ron Siarnicki at 410-887-5773.
The AFG Program of the DHS, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an important component of the larger, coordinated effort to strengthen the Nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. Since 2001, the AFG has provided approximately $6.4 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training. Over the course of 2016, the AFG will award $304.5 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.
Since 2001, Queen Anne’s County Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received $3 million dollars from the AFG. Statewide, Maryland has received $196 million in the same period.