WASHINGTON – U.S. Ben Cardin and Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Howard County Department of Fire Rescue Services has been awarded $544,060 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program for emergency firefighting equipment and a MayDay training program. As the 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 need the right resources and skills at the ready to protect them as they protect the public during natural disasters or man-made crises. They are our first line of defense and we want them all to return home to their families safely,” said Senator Cardin. “This federal funding is an important investment in keeping Maryland families and businesses safe if and when a disaster strikes.”
“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 Howard County Department of Fire Rescue Services will use the competitive award for an electronic personal accountability system which will allow the commanding officer to track the location and function of all firefighters during an emergency. The funding will also be used for a Fire Ground Survival Training program focused on MayDay prevention and operations. For more information, please contact John Butler at 410-313-6025.
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 $125 million in fire grant funding. Howard County Fire & EMS Departments have been awarded over $1.8 million since 2001.