WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department in St. Mary’s County has been awarded $271,620 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. As Vice Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski fights each year to increase federal funding for the fire grants program. Senator Cardin is a member of the Finance Committee.
“Our first responders and their families deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing they have the equipment they need to get the job done and come home safely,” said Senator Cardin. “Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department can be assured they have a strong federal partner that is as committed to their mission as they are. Protecting our first responders is a matter of national security and the right thing to do for our communities.”
“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 Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department will use this federal funding to purchase 46 sets of self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA) and 50 individualized face masks to replace gear that is out of date and no longer compliant with current standards. For more information about this, contact Thomas A. Mattingly, Jr. at 301-475-8996.
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, St. Mary’s County fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received almost $2.7 million from the AFG.
# # #