WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Bedford Road Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $66,500 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase life-saving firefighting equipment.
“Every day, the men and women of volunteer fire departments put their lives on the line to protect our Maryland communities from harm. We are thankful for their courage and sacrifice,” said Senator Cardin. “The Bedford Road Volunteer Fire Department does amazing work but they need a federal partner. Federal investments, including this grant, will keep first responders in Cumberland and other places across Maryland outfitted with the tools and skills they need to get the job done and return home safely.”
“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 Bedford Road Volunteer Fire Department will use the competitive award to replace rescue tools that are nearly 40 years old. The Department will purchase new vehicle extrication equipment (“jaws of life”), cutters, power generator units and air bags. This is the fourth AFG award for the Bedford Road Volunteer Fire Department. For more information, please contact Derek Crippen at 301-724-3670.
AFG awards 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 over $137 million in fire grant funding, $6 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in Allegany County.