Press Release

September 10, 2014
Cardin, Mikulski Announce Federal Funding To Purchase Life-Saving Firefighting Equipment In Somerset County

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Deal Island-Chance Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $13,443 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase life-saving firefighting equipment. As the Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski fights each year to increase federal funding for the fire grants program. Senator Cardin is a member of the Finance Committee.


“Our first responders provide the first line of defense for our citizens and these federal funds are an important investment in keeping Maryland families and businesses safe if and when a disaster strikes,” said Senator Cardin. “It’s our job to ensure that Maryland’s first responders have the resources, equipment, training and support they need to do their job safely. After each incident, we want every firefighter to return home to his or her family unharmed and ready to defend our community against whatever comes next.”


“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 Deal Island-Chance Volunteer Fire Department will use the funding to replace 20-year-old fire hoses and nozzles. Fire hoses are one of the most basic tools of the fire service. Safe and reliable fire hoses enable firefighters to directly combat fires to protect themselves and citizens during fire emergencies.  For more information, please contact Donald Ford at 410-651-0986.


AFG 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 almost $146 million in fire grant funding, over $1.3 million of which has gone to fire departments in Somerset County.