WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that $985,680 in federal grant funding has been awarded among eight Volunteer Fire Departments in Carroll County through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. The regional award will be used to purchase life-saving firefighting equipment.
“When a natural disaster occurs or we are faced with a terrorist attack, it is our first responders who provide the first line of defense for our citizens,” said Senator Cardin. “This federal funding is an important investment in keeping Maryland families and businesses safe if and when a disaster strikes. It ensures that our first responders have the resources they need to protect us and the equipment and training they need to do their jobs.”
“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 eight Volunteer Fire Departments receiving this award are New Windsor Fire & Hose Co. #1, Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company, Mt. Airy VFD, Hampstead VFD, Manchester VFD, Taneytown VFD, Winfield Community VFD, and Reese & Community VFD. With a regional award, these fire departments demonstrate interoperability and lower equipment costs by buying in bulk. The award funds will purchase 170 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units with spare cylinders, 240 face masks, 15 firefighter accountability tracking devises, and 18 Rapid Intervention Air Packs. This equipment will enable firefighters to breathe in smoke-filled buildings and find downed firefighters who cannot communicate their location, keeping firefighters safe and effective in the field. For more information, contact Neal Roop at 410-848-8973 ext 209.
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 nearly $122 million in fire grant funding, nearly $3.5 million of which was awarded to Fire and EMS departments in Carroll County.