Press Release

August 2, 2007



Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and 
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced two Maryland fire departments have been awarded a total of $52,740 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. “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 Abingdon Fire Company Inc. in Harford County will use its $18,090 for operations and safety. This is the fourth award for the department. In 2003, the department was awarded $44,915 to purchase a Cascade Air System for refilling oxygen tanks and received $283,478 to outfit a new rescue vehicle. In 2006, they received a SAFER award to aid in recruitment and retention activities for new volunteer first responders. For more information, call Chief Albert Bair at 410-436-5896.

The Odenton Volunteer Fire Department in Anne Arundel County will use its $34,650 to purchase new portable radios and pagers to aid in interoperable communications. This is the second award for the Odenton Volunteer Fire Department under the AFGP. In 2006, the department was awarded $43,298 for rescue tools to extricate victims from car crashes. For more information, call Dave Lewis at 301-226-9936.

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 $48.5 million through the AFGP.