WASHINGTON – On Saturday, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen toured the Frostburg Fire Department. They met with local department personnel and announced more than $3 million in funding to Allegany County from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The funding will bolster emergency preparedness, provide new high-quality equipment and tools, and enhance efforts to provide adequate staffing throughout departments in the county. Specifically, it will provide 450 sets of new turn-out gear, the hiring of 16 full-time firefighters for the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services, new pagers that are compliant with the County’s new 4560 MHz alerting system, and new Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus.
“Maryland is fortunate to have first-class firefighters and emergency personnel, all of whom perform difficult, dangerous jobs in service to their communities. Saturday’s tour of Frostburg Fire Department was a reminder that we owe our first responders every resource they need, and that when we prioritize their safety, they are in the best possible position to fight for ours,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “I want to thank all of Western Maryland’s first responders for protecting our neighborhoods, often at great risk to their own lives. I’m proud to stand by them, and I’ll keep working to ensure they get the support they need from Washington.”
“Every day, the firefighters and other emergency responders in Allegany County and across our state put their lives on the line to protect our communities. It’s our job to ensure they have the tools they need to safely and effectively do just that,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “Saturday’s tour was a great way to see first-hand the work that our first responders do – and the importance of providing them with adequate funding and equipment. I will continue working to provide Maryland’s first responders with resources they need to keep our communities safe.”
Photo: Senator Van Hollen speaks with team members from the Frostburg Fire Department and the Maugansville Good Will Volunteer Fire Company.
Photo: Senator Cardin addresses Allegany County first responders.
Details on the funding are below:
- The Allegany County Department of Emergency Services has been awarded $1,933,265 through FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program to hire 16 full-time firefighters to ensure adequate staffing levels at stations across the County
- The Potomac Fire Company of Westernport has been awarded $935,182 through a Regional Grant Award to purchase 381 sets of turn-out gear that will benefit 13 Fire Departments across Allegany County: Goodwill Volunteer Fire Department of Lonaconing, Midland Volunteer Fire Department, Frostburg Fire Department, Mt. Savage Volunteer Fire Department, Baltimore Pike Volunteer Fire Department, Oldtown Volunteer Fire Department, Flintstone Volunteer Fire Department, Cumberland Fire Department, Rawlings Volunteer Fire Department, Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department, Bowling Green Fire Department, and the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services
- The Baltimore Pike Volunteer Fire Department of Cumberland has been awarded $165,910 through a Regional Grant Award to provide new pagers to every department in the County. Each station will receive 28 pagers that will be compliant with the County’s new 450 MHz alert system.
- The Corriganville Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $124,286 through a Regional Grant Award to purchase 69 sets of turn-out gear. Corriganville partnered with the Wellersburg District Volunteer Fire Department in Hyndman, PA.
- The Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $198,486 to purchase nearly 30 sets of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus to replace units that are beyond their useful lifespan and no longer compliant with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
- The Midland Fire Company has been awarded $112,972 to purchase 18 sets of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus to replace units that are beyond their useful lifespan and no longer compliant with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
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 $350 million for the AFG program for Fiscal Year 2018 and continue to work towards robust funding in Fiscal Year 2019.
In addition, Cardin and Van Hollen attended the opening of Garrett College’s new STEM building, served as guest pourers at the Deep Creek Art, Wine, and Beer Festival, and toured the Wholesome Harvest Co-op.
Photo: Senators Cardin and Van Hollen cut the ribbon at the new Garrett College STEM Building.
Photo: Senators Cardin and Van Hollen served as “guest pourers” at the Deep Creek Art, Wine, & Beer Festival.