WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Ridge Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $135,850 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase life-saving firefighting equipment.
“I am proud to fight for the federal investments that help make sure that the brave men and women safeguarding our families make it home safely to their own. The Ridge Volunteer Fire Department is committed to protecting their community and they can do their job more effectively with a strong federal partner to support the equipment and training they need,” said Senator Cardin. “Eighteen sets of new Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) mean the difference between life and death for volunteer firefighters and peace of mind for their families.”
“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 Ridge Volunteer Fire Department will use the competitive award to purchase 18 sets of new Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). SCBA enable firefighters to breath in smoke-filled rooms to keep them safe in the line of duty. For more information, please contact Eddie Raley at 301-872-5571.
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 $140 million in fire grant funding, just over $2.4 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in St. Mary’s County.