Press Release

January 3, 2012

WASHINGTONU.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski and Congressman Chris Van Hollen (all D-MD) today announced the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $128,200 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase new firefighting equipment.  As a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Mikulski fights each year to increase federal funding for the fire grants program. Senator Cardin is a member of the Finance and Budget committees. Congressman Van Hollen is the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee.

“Now more than ever, we need to make sure that our first responders have the resources they need to protect our families and communities,” Senator Cardin said. “From fires to natural disasters to possible terrorist threats, these brave men and women put their lives on the line for all of us.  Federal investment in our first responders is vital because we must ensure that they have the equipment and training they need to protect us from harm and to perform their jobs safely and efficiently.”

“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.”

“First responders put their lives on the line every day to protect our families and our homes, and this vital funding will go a long way in helping them keep our community safe,” said Congressman Van Hollen. “We will continue working to ensure that our brave firefighters have the funding and equipment necessary to do their jobs.”

The grant funds will allow the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department to purchase new effective and efficient rescue equipment including new rescue hoses and turnout gear to help respond to fire emergencies. For more information, please contact Chris St. John at 301-929-8000. 

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 nearly $105 million in AFGP funding, more than $9 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in Montgomery County.