Press Release

September 30, 2017
Cardin, Van Hollen Announce Funding for Eastern Shore First Responders to Purchase New Equipment

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) have announced that the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department and the Preston Volunteer Fire Department have been awarded a total of $465,715 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to purchase new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) to replace equipment that is past its useful lifespan and no longer compliant with National Fire Protection Association standards.

  • The Kent Island Volunteer Department, located in Queen Anne’s County, has been awarded $285,143 to purchase 47 SCBA units with additional spare air cylinders and face masks.
  • The Preston Volunteer Fire Department, located in Caroline County, has been awarded $180,572 to purchase 25 SCBA units as well as spare air cylinders and face masks.

“The Eastern Shore’s first responders deserve every resource they need to safely go about the difficult and dangerous business of saving lives. This federal investment will help us live up to that commitment and ensure more of our firefighters return home safely,” said Senator Cardin. “This is precisely the kind of investment we need to be making in all of Maryland’s first responders.”

“Every day, our firefighters risk their lives to protect families up and down the Eastern Shore. This grant will help replace badly outdated gear and keep these brave men and women safe,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations and Budget Committees. “I will keep fighting to ensure that our first responders have the tools they need to protect Marylanders.”

FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program awards grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and state fire training academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Van Hollen worked to secure $345 million for the AFG program in the recent budget agreement for Fiscal Year 2017.