October 03, 2019

Van Hollen, Cardin, Trone Announce Nearly $1 Million for Garrett County First Responders

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Representative David Trone (all D-Md.) announced $996,348 in federal funding for Garrett County and the Bittinger Volunteer Fire Department to purchase new equipment. The funding, awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, includes:

  • $89,286 for the Bittinger Volunteer Fire Department to purchase 15 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units and 15 spare air cylinders. The new SCBA will replace units that are no longer compliant with National Fire Protection Association standards.
  • $907,062 to purchase new radio communications equipment for 12 fire stations across Garrett County. The new equipment includes 118 portable radios and 70 mobile radios and will be compliant with the new statewide operating system.

“Providing our local first responders with the resources they need is crucial to their ability to serve our communities. This funding will allow Garrett County and the Bittinger Volunteer Fire Department to upgrade their equipment, and it will better prepare them to achieve their life-saving mission,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “In the Senate, I will continue working to support Maryland’s emergency responders.” 

“Our fire fighters regularly put their lives on the line for our communities, so it is paramount that they have the safety equipment they need to make it home at the end of the day,” said Senator Cardin. “These funds represent ongoing federal investment in the safety of Garrett County. I’ll keep fighting to ensure all our first responders, in every corner of our state, have the resources they need.”

“Our firefighters work every day to keep our homes, businesses, and communities safe,” said Congressman David Trone. “With this funding, our firefighters can acquire the equipment necessary to continue their important work. I will continue to work in Congress to support our Maryland firefighters and their life-saving work.”

Federal funds are awarded through the AFG program, which provides grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and state fire training academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel. The Members worked to secure $350 million for the AFG program for Fiscal Year 2019 and continue to work towards robust funding for the program. The Maryland delegation is announcing over $30 million in funding for first responders throughout the state.