WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD.) today announced Baltimore County fire departments have been awarded $1,840,000 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase new effective and efficient firefighting equipment. The grants include $1,750,000 for the Baltimore County Fire Department as well as $90,000 for the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department. 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 a member of the Finance and Budget committees.
“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 $1,750,000 grant funds will allow the Baltimore County Fire Department to purchase 60 Life-Pak 12 units, which assist with emergency resuscitation and chest compression, ensuring that each station throughout the county is equipped with this lifesaving equipment. For more information on the Baltimore County award, please contact Mark Hubbard at 410-887-8114.
The $90,000 grant award to the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department will allow for the installation of a sprinkler system in the old portion of the fire station to protect the lives and safety of volunteer firefighters. Additionally, the Department will purchase a high-tech thermal imaging camera to help firefighters better track a fire within a structure and allow a safer and more effective response. For more information on the Arbutus award, please contact Paul Trovinger at 410-887-1471.
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 $105 million in AFGP funding, more than $9 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in Baltimore County.