FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2016
Matt Jorgenson /Alanna Wellspeak 202-228-1122 (Mikulski)
Marty Welch 202-224-4524/Tim Zink 410-962-4436 (Cardin)
MIKULSKI, CARDIN ANNOUNCE MORE THAN $1.8 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING TO PURCHASE LIFE-SAVING FIREFIGHTING EQUIPMENT IN PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) today announced that the Prince George’s County Fire Department has been awarded $1,327,456 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase 700 sets of personal protective equipment, replacing gear that was no longer compliant. The Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI), was awarded $500,000 to purchase updated equipment to protect its fire service instructors and students during training exercises, and to ensure MFRI students learn to use the most current technology to respond to emergencies.
As the 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.”
“We owe it to our first responders in Prince George’s County to make sure that they have the tools and training they need to protect our families and make it home to their own,” said Senator Cardin. “Maryland municipalities in every corner of our state need a strong federal partner to protect the men and women who protect our communities. I will continue to ensure that these lifesaving funds are made available to Maryland fire departments.”
“This Grant will be used to prevent firefighter injuries and help to save lives,” said Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor. “We appreciate the efforts of our elected officials in securing this Grant.”
The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department has been awarded a Federal Grant that will be used to purchase firefighters personal protective equipment (PPE). The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) for $1,327,546 will allow the Department to purchase 700 sets of PPE to reduce the risk of injury from personnel operating with obsolete gear that was no longer compliant. Each set of firefighters PPE is estimated to cost $2,085.67 for a complete set which includes helmet, hood, turnout coat/pants, boots and gloves.
MFRI will use this federal funding to replace old and outdated Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) with 70 newer and safer units. SCBA enable firefighters to breathe in smoke-filled buildings, and are critical to firefighter safety. MFRI will purchase 40 new sets of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which will include firefighting coats, helmets, pants and boots. These PPE will protect instructors as they enter MFRI burn buildings to instruct students. MFRI will also purchase additional training equipment, gear and simulators. For more information, please contact MFRI Director Steve Edwards at 301-226-9960.
MFRI is the Statewide Training Academy for the Fire Service in Maryland, which is located in Prince George’s County. The Institute creates and delivers quality programs to enhance the ability of emergency services providers in Maryland to protect life, the environment and property.
The 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 $6.1 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training. Over the course of 2016, the AFG will award $304.5 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.
Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received nearly $178 million in fire grant funding, of which more than $37 million has been awarded to fire departments in Prince George’s County. Since 2001, Maryland Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received nearly $178 million in fire grant funding. This includes $24,934,729 in 2015.