WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) today announced the Ocean City Fire Department will receive $383,325 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase lifesaving rescue equipment. As Chairwoman 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 Committee.
“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,” Chairwoman 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.”
“When a natural disaster occurs or we are faced with a terrorist attack, it is our first responders who provide the first line of defense for our citizens,” said Senator Cardin. “This federal funding is an important investment in keeping Maryland families and businesses safe if and when a disaster strikes. It ensures that our first responders have the resources they need to protect us and the equipment and training they need to do their jobs.”
The Ocean City Fire Department will use the grant funds to purchase 50 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units, which allow firefighters to breathe inside smoke filled buildings. For more information, please call Chris Shaffer of the Ocean City Fire Department at 410-723-6618.
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.
Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received nearly $119 million in AFGP funding, approximately $1.3 million of which was awarded to fire departments in Worcester County. Including today’s award, Ocean City Fire Department has been the recipient of four awards totaling more than $440,000.