Press Release

January 11, 2012

WASHINGTONU.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department won $107,840 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase lifesaving rescue equipment to help victims of motor vehicle accidents. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, 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 Morningside Volunteer Fire Department will use the grant funds to purchase new lifesaving hydraulic tools for the department’s heavy rescue squad. This new effective and efficient equipment will help first responders to free entrapped motor vehicle crash victims, and will include cutters, spreaders, a generator and auxiliary equipment including hoses, airbags and struts. For more information, please call David Hansen of the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department at 301-736-4343.

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, approximately $12.5 million of which was awarded to fire departments in Prince George’s County. Including today’s award, Morningside Volunteer Fire Department has been the recipient of four awards totaling nearly $700,000.