Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes (both D-Md.) today announced that three Southern Maryland fire departments have been awarded a total of $68,215 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Senator Mikulski is on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and fights each year to increase federal money for the program.
"I'm so proud of Maryland's firefighters, risking their lives to protect others," said Senator Mikulski. "But we need to protect our protectors with the best equipment, training and resources. I will keep fighting for a federal investment in the safety of our first responders and Southern Maryland communities. Congratulations to these departments on being awarded this well-deserved money."
"As was demonstrated during the 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina tragedies, and during other emergencies across Maryland and the Nation on an almost daily basis, the heroism and diligence of America's firefighters and first responders is crucial to the health and safety of our communities," said Senator Sarbanes. "These hard-working firefighters deserve the most-up-to-date equipment, and I am pleased that this funding is being awarded to assist them in their efforts to protect their respective communities."
The Ironsides Volunteer Rescue Squad (Charles County) will use its $27,075 to purchase Emergency Medical Services equipment.
For more information on the Ironsides Volunteer Rescue Squad, call Linda van De Weert at (301) 743-3442.
The Second District Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad (St. Mary's County) will use its $31,540 to purchase a new gear washer and dryer and new EMS turn out gear.
For more information on the Second District Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, call Stephanie Boyd at (301) 342-3943.
Calvert Advanced Life Support Operations and Safety (Calvert County) will use its $9,600 to purchase new EMS gear.
For more information on Calvert Advanced Life Support Operations and Safety, call Eileen Jenkins at (410) 535-0411.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP) is a competitive program that awards one-year grants directly to fire departments nationwide. Fire departments can apply for federal assistance for training and equipment, fire education and awareness programs, or firefighting vehicles. This year, approximately 20,400 departments nationwide applied for funding, totaling more than $2.6 billion in requests. Grants will be awarded on a weekly basis until all funds are disbursed.
So far this year, 33 Maryland fire departments have received awards through the AFGP totaling $3,732,308 in award funds. Since 2001, Maryland fire departments have been awarded $29,474,642.
In 2004, Senator Mikulski introduced an amendment to the FY 2005 Homeland Security appropriations bill that would have increased federal funding for the Fire Grant Program to its authorized level of $900 million. ?Senator Mikulski's amendment failed by a vote of 50-45, with 60 votes needed for passage.