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Federal funding for local fire departments announced

June 30th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin, together with U.S. Representative John Delaney (all D-Md.) today announced that the Potomac Fire Company in Allegany County has been awarded $135,239 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. As Vice Chairwoman of the 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,” 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.”


“First responders across Maryland put their lives on the line daily to protect their communities,” said Senator Cardin. “The men and women of the Potomac Fire Company deserve the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that they have federal partners committed to helping them secure the equipment and training to protect their community and return safely home to their families. I will continue to make sure that Maryland first responders statewide continue to have the support they need and deserve.”


“Firefighters will tell you that one of the biggest safety threats during a fire is not being able to breathe and our first-responders should have the breathing apparatuses they need to save lives,” said Congressman Delaney. “This federal grant will help the Potomac Fire Company do their heroic work and is good news for Allegany County. These grants support public safety in local communities and I will continue to support the Assistance to Firefighters Program in Congress.”  


Potomac Fire Company will use this federal funding to purchase 19 sets of self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA) with face masks and spare air bottles. The new gear will replace SCBA equipment that is out of date, no longer compliant with NFPA standards and past its useful lifespan. For more information about this, contact Tim Dayton at 301-359-3701.


The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an important component of the larger, coordinated effort to strengthen the Nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. Since 2001, the AFG has provided approximately $6.4 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training.

During fiscal year (FY) 2015, the AFG will award $306 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.


Since 2001, Allegany County fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received over $6.5 million from the AFG. 

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