WASHINGTON - Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes (both D-Md.) today announced the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $145,297 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP). Senator Mikulski is on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the AFGP.
The grant comes on the heels of a $96,903 AFGP grant to the Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad that was announced on Nov. 10. and a $100,700 grant to the Hollywood VFD that was announced on Nov. 15.
"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 the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department 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 La Plata Volunteer Fire Department will use its $145,297 to purchase 34 new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units with individualized face masks, new rope equipment and 50 pagers for communications.
This is the third award for the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department under the AFGP. In 2002, the department was awarded $29,610 and in 2004 it received $125,208.
The Department of Homeland Security 2007 spending bill that President Bush signed into law in October 2006 includes $662 million in federal funding for our nation's firefighters through the AFGP. While this is significantly more than the President requested, it still falls short of the program's authorized funding level of $1 billion.
You can learn more about the program by visiting http://www.firegrantsupport.com/ .