WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded significant federal funding to the Oakland Volunteer Fire Department in Oakland, Maryland and the Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Company in McHenry, Maryland to purchase new equipment.
The Oakland Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $161,334 to purchase 30 sets of new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) to replace units that are beyond their useful lifespan and no longer compliant with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
The Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Company has been awarded $86,780 to purchase 29 complete sets of turn out gear to replace gear that is also beyond its useful lifespan and no longer compliant with NFPA standards.
“Our first responders deserve every resource they need to safely go about the difficult and dangerous business of saving lives,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “Nothing is more important than Marylanders’ safety, and these funds represent a federal investment in the safety of Garrett County’s firefighters. I’ll keep fighting to ensure all our first responders, in every corner of our state, have the resources they need as well.”
“This grant will help Garrett County’s firefighters better serve and protect their community,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations and Budget Committees. “We must ensure that first responders across Maryland have the tools and equipment they need to respond to emergencies and save lives. I will continue working to support Maryland’s first responders and provide the resources they need to keep our communities safe. ”
Federal funds are awarded through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, which provides 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. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen worked to secure $345 million for the AFG program for Fiscal Year 2018 and continue to work towards robust funding in Fiscal Year 2019.