Press Release

March 2, 2011
Grants will help fire departments purchase air tanks, fire testing equipment, and firefighting tools.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) announced today that two volunteer fire departments in Washington County will receive nearly $200,000 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) to purchase firefighting equipment.  As a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Mikulski fights each to increase federal funding for the fire grants program. 
“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 1 st Hose County of Boonsboro, awarded $57,000 to purchase a mobile cascade system, which will give the department the ability to refill air cylinders on the scene of a fire. Clear Springs Volunteer Fire Company, Inc., awarded $134,520, will purchase twenty four sets of SCBA equipment, a port-account system and fire testing equipment. For more information, please contact Nolan Brandenburg at 301-927-5770 (Boonsboro) and Carl Witmer at 301-790-3020 (Clear Spring).
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 $95 million in AFGP funding, nearly $10 million of which has gone to fire departments in Washington County. 
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