Press Release

March 2, 2007

Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that three Eastern Shore fire departments have been awarded a total of $162,171 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.”

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 more than $45.7 million through the AFGP.

Eldorado-Brookview Volunteer Fire Department of Rhodesdale in Dorchester County has been awarded $74,059 to purchase eight complete sets of turn out gear and 15 new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units to replace units that are over 20 years old. This is the second award for the department. In 2004, they received an AFGP award of $18,630 for new radios and pagers. For more information, call William Hodges at 410-943-4004.

Parsonsburg Volunteer Fire Company in Wicomico County will use its $54,862 to purchase 25 new sets of turn out gear, and a gear washer and dryer to help extend the life of the new gear. This is the first award for the department under the AFGP. For more information, call Mark Rickards at 410-742-2408.

Powellville Volunteer Fire Company Inc. of Pittsville in Wicomico County will use its $33,250 to purchase and install a new Cascade Air System to refill their air bottles. This is the first award for the department under the AFGP. For more information, call Charles Ward at 410-835-8181.