WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that the Anne Arundel County Fire Department has been awarded $418,720 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase specialized gear washer and dryers. 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.
“First responders across Maryland put their lives on the line daily to protect their communities,” said Senator Cardin. “The men and women of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department deserve the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that they have federal partners committed to helping them secure the right resources and training to protect their community and return safely home to their families. I will continue to make sure that Maryland first responders statewide continue to have the support they need to stay safe and healthy.”
“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 Anne Arundel County Fire Department will use this federal funding to purchase 10 sets of specialized gear washer and dryers to clean personal protective equipment (turn out gear), which will remove harmful carcinogens and fumes from the gear. For more information, please contact Russ Davies at 410-222-8305.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program of the Department of Homeland Security (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. During fiscal year (FY) 2015, the AFG will award $306 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.
Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received nearly $179 million in fire grant funding, of which more than $24.5 million has been awarded to fire departments in Anne Arundel County.