WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Odenton Volunteer Fire Company won $9,215 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase emergency medical equipment. As a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Mikulski fights each year to increase federal funding for the fire grants program. Senator Cardin is chairman of the Homeland Security and Terrorism Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee.
“Now more than ever, we need to make sure that our first responders have the resources they need to protect our families and communities,” Senator Cardin said. “From fires to natural disasters to possible terrorist threats, these brave men and women put their lives on the line for all of us. Federal investment in our first responders is vital because we must ensure that they have the equipment and training they need to protect us from harm and to perform their jobs safely and efficiently.”
“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 grant funds will allow Odenton Volunteer Fire Company to purchase equipment that will aid emergency medical service (EMS) personnel in responding to carbon monoxide emergencies by providing them with an accurate, non-invasive way of measuring blood oxygen levels. The fire department will also purchase portable gas detectors, allowing firefighters to assess air quality and quickly locate gas leaks inside homes.
AFGP 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 more than $91 million in AFGP funding, more than $8 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in Anne Arundel County.