"Helping our firefighters is not a political issue, it is a safety issue," says Mikulski
WASHINGTON - Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today announced that the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad in Calvert County has been awarded $189,845 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 and fights each year to increase its federal funding.
"First responders are our true heroes - protecting our homes, our businesses and our communities. I'm grateful for the sacrifices they make every day," said Senator Mikulski. "I believe the federal government has a responsibility to protect our protectors, providing them with the tools they need to do their job safer and smarter. That's why I will continue to fight to provide the federal support they need to get the equipment, training and resources they deserve."
AFGP grants fund firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles and firefighter/first responder safety projects. Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and fire service organizations have received nearly $42.5 million through the AFGP.
The Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad will use its $189,845 to purchase new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units. For more information, call Chief Jonathan Riffe at 410-535-3331.
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.
"Helping our firefighters is not a political issue, it is a safety issue. If you are willing to put your lives on the line every day, you should never feel short-changed by your government," said Senator Mikulski. "I will never give up my fight to give first responders the tools they need."
Source: Senator Mikulski