Press Release

August 22, 2008

Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the University of Maryland (UMD) Center for Firefighter Safety Research and Development has been awarded a $355,860 Fire Prevention and Safety (FPS) grant for firefighter safety research.  The FPS grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP).  Senator Mikulski is on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the AFGP and fights each year to increase its federal funding.  Senator Cardin is a member of the Budget Committee, which each year sets priorities for funding to federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security. 


“Firefighter grants represent a major effort by the Federal government to ensure that our nation’s first responders have the equipment and training they need to do the job,” said Senator Cardin.  “Our firefighters are on the frontlines every day, and it is critical that they have the resources to deal with any emergency or life-threatening situation they may have to confront.”


 “First responders are our true heroes – protecting our homes, our businesses and our communities.  I’m grateful for the sacrifices they make every day,” said Senator Mikulski.  “The federal government has a responsibility to protect our protectors, providing them with the tools they need to do their job safer and smarter.  That’s why I will continue to fight to provide the federal support they need to get the equipment, training and resources they deserve.”


The grant will fund research to develop an effective firefighter locator beacon in the event that a firefighter is unable to respond.  This is the fourth award for UMD’s Center for Firefighter Safety Research and Development.  For more information, contact Steve Edwards at 301-226-9900.


AFGP grants fund firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects, staffing recruitment and retention, and public education on arson and fire prevention.  Since 2001, Maryland fire and emergency medical services have been awarded more than $64 million in AFGP funding.