WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that the Anne Arundel County Fire Department will receive $2,976,975 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase life-saving firefighting equipment. As Chairwoman of the Senate 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.
“When others are running away from danger, our first responders are running towards it,” 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 safely to their own. It is a matter of national security that the federal government is a strong partner with municipalities to ensure public safety for our local 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 Anne Arundel County Fire Department will use the federal funding to purchase 531 sets of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and 1,300 face masks. The new SCBA and face masks will replace the Department’s current SCBA for its career and volunteer firefighters. The current SCBA is not compliant with the latest National Fire Protection Association standards. SCBAs enable firefighters to breath in smoke-filled rooms to keep them safe in the line of duty. The new SCBAs will provide a higher level protection through improved lens durability and communication systems and will also alert firefighters when their air supply is low. For more information, please contact Fire Chief Michael Cox, Jr. at 410-222-8301.
AFG 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 nearly $149 million in fire grant funding, more than $16 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in Anne Arundel County.
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