WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, together with U.S. Representative John Delaney (all D-Md.) today announced that the Grantsville Volunteer Fire Department will receive $37,836 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase life-saving firefighting equipment.
“Our first responders and their families deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing they have the equipment they need to get the job done and come home safely,” said Senator Cardin. “The Grantsville Volunteer Fire Department can be assured they have a strong federal partner that is as committed to their mission as they are. Protecting our first responders is a matter of national security and the right thing to do for our communities.”
“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 and staffing 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 Grantsville Volunteer Fire Department serves the local community every single day and they shouldn’t have to depend upon equipment from the 1970s. Outdated equipment hurts efficiency and capacity and these federal funds will allow the Grantsville Volunteer Fire Department to purchase a new air compressor instead of relying on time-consuming trips to adjoining communities. This federal grant is precisely why I’ve been proud to fight for the Assistance to Firefighters program, because it makes a real difference for local communities in Western Maryland and across the state,” Congressman Delaney said.
The Grantsville Volunteer Fire Department will use the funding to purchase a new Cascade Air Compressor System which will replace the current system which is over 40 years old. Grantsville must go to adjoining Departments to refill their air bottles, thus taking them out of service for that period. For more information, please contact President Stephen Smith at 301-895-5200.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an important component of the larger, coordinated effort to strengthen the Nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. Since 2001, the AFG has provided approximately $6.1 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training.
Over the course of 2016, the AFG will award $304.5 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.
Since 2001, Maryland Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received nearly $178 million in fire grant funding, of which more than $900,000 has been awarded to fire departments in Garrett County.