Press Release

April 6, 2010

Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (
both D-Md.) today announced the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has received a $630,000 Fire Prevention and Safety Grant (FPS) to support the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, the leading national heart attack prevention initiative aimed at first responders in the United States. Heart attacks remain the leading cause of death for firefighters today. 


The FPS grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP).  .  Senator Cardin is a member of the Senate Budget Committee, which each year sets priorities for funding to federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.  Senator Mikulski is on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the AFGP and fights each year to increase its federal funding.


“Our local firefighters are on the front lines daily, risking their lives to protect our citizens. We have an obligation to provide these community heroes with the best tools and resources available, including programs like this training that can make a tangible difference in their lives,” said
Senator Cardin. “I thank these brave men and women for their service and pledge to continue supporting federal investment in their future health and safety.”


 “Firefighters and their families already understand the hazards of being on the job, whether it is rushing into a burning building or suffering from physical exhaustion and injury.  That is why this work is so important – it could potentially save lives,” said
Senator Mikulski.  “First responders can count on me

to fight to provide the federal support and services needed to protect our protectors.”


The NVFC is a non-profit, membership association representing the interests of volunteer fire, EMS and rescue services. The Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program was developed to provide all firefighters – volunteer and career – with the educational and practical tools necessary to improve heart health. In its 7
th year of operation, the program will continue its existing initiatives, like National Firefighter Health Week and taking its Health Fair to industry trade shows across the country, as well as start new initiatives in the area of behavioral health and training. For more information about the NVFC or the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, please contact Kimberly Ettinger at 202-887-5700.


AFGP grants fund firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects, and staffing recruitment and retention.  Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and fire service organizations have received approximately $80 million through the AFGP.