Press Release

September 24, 2012
Federal Funding To Distribute And Install Smoke Alarms For The Elderly, Low Income In Hagerstown

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) today announced that the Halfway Volunteer Fire Department in Hagerstown will receive $63,630 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) to administer a public safety and fire prevention initiative in the community and to distribute and install smoke alarms for elderly and low income residents. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, 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.

“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.”


“Now more than ever, we need to make sure that Marylanders have the resources they need to protect their homes and businesses,” Senator Cardin said. “Investing in smoke detectors for people who may not be able to buy or install them on their own will save lives and property and help ensure that first responders are able to respond to the most serious threats to safety.”

The Halfway Volunteer Fire Department will use the grant funds to purchase and install carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms, and non-slip bath mats. This lifesaving equipment will reduce the number of falls due to throw rugs. For more information about the award, please contact Jeff Ringer, 301-582-2223.

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.

The total award to the Washington Co. Fire and EMS Departments to $10,135,594 and nearly $118 million statewide. This is also the fourth award for the Halfway Volunteer Fire Department, totaling in $794,826 in competitive grant awards.