WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) announced $407,142 in federal funding for the Water Witch Fire Company in Port Deposit, Md. The funding, awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, will be used to purchase 48 complete sets of turn-out gear and spare bottles and to replace the Company’s air cylinder/compressor which is used for refilling oxygen tanks.
“The availability of the best tools for our first responders is a matter of life and death – for them and for the people they regularly save from harm. The AFG program provides critical federal resources for improvements that fire departments and EMS organizations would not be able to afford on their own. I will continue to fight for such investments in public safety for Cecil County and communities throughout Maryland,” said Senator Cardin.
“Providing our first responders with the equipment they need is crucial to their ability to serve and protect our communities and this investment will help the Water Witch Fire Company achieve their life-saving mission,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “I will keep working to support our first responders and provide them with the resources they need to keep Marylanders safe.”
Federal funds are awarded through the AFG 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. The Members worked to secure $350 million for the AFG program for Fiscal Year 2019 and continue to work towards robust funding for the program. The Maryland delegation is announcing over $2 million in funding for first responders throughout the state from the AFG program.