Press Release

April 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced Prince George’s County Fire/EMS was awarded $1,267,200 in federal grant funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to upgrade its fleet with state-of-the-art communications equipment. 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.” 

Prince George’s County Fire/EMS will use the grant to purchase approximately 300 mobile data terminals (MDTs), improving communication among Prince George’s County first responders and increasing interoperability with other jurisdictions. MDTs are computer-like devices that provide electronic information about the location and nature of an emergency, as well as information about any special considerations or hazards. For more information, please contact Mark Brady, Public Information Officer, at 301-883-7154. 

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 more than $95 million in AFGP funding, more than $17 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in Prince George’s County.