Press Release

April 20, 2007

Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) and a Montgomery County organization were awarded a total of $523,707 in federal funding for fire safety and prevention 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.

“Educating people about fire safety and prevention is critical to keeping our communities safe from fires,” said Senator Mikulski. “The federal government has a responsibility to provide people with the tools they need to stay safe. That's why I will continue to fight to provide the federal support needed to protect our communities.”

“These Department of Homeland Security grants are important because they provide our communities with the tools they need to keep us safe,” said Senator Cardin. “Each year, more than 3,000 people die and 18,000 are injured as a result of fire in the United States. In providing these needed resources, we can help reduce that deadly toll.”

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) in Wicomico County will use its $91,907 to purchase electrical equipment to help fire suppression in student housing on campus, as well as for educational and training activities to teach students about fire prevention and safety. For more information, call Catherine Bolek at 410-651-6714.

The Society of Fire Prevention Engineers (SFPE) in Bethesda, Md., will use its $431,800 to partner with Discovery Education to develop, distribute and promote a multi-media curriculum kit for high school science teachers nationwide called The Chemistry of Fire. The program will teach the science behind fire as a way for students to more fully understand its dangers and better recognize fire hazards and practice fire safety. The program also seeks to encourage students to explore careers in fire protection engineering. This is the second award for the SFPE. In 2004, they were awarded a $143,668 grant. For more information, call Dave Evans at 301-718-2910.

AFGP grants fund firefighter/first responder education and safety projects, firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, and staffing recruitment and retention. Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and fire service organizations have received nearly $47 million through the AFGP.