Grants Awarded to Glen Echo VFD

U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) announced on March 29 that the Glen Echo Volunteer Fire Department (GEVFD) has been awarded $44,574 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase lifesaving rescue equipment and personal protection equipment for its first responders.

As Chairwoman of the Senate 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.”

“When a natural disaster occurs or we are faced with a terrorist attack, it is our first responders who provide the first line of defense for our citizens,” said Senator Cardin. “This federal funding is an important investment in keeping Maryland families and businesses safe if and when a disaster strikes. It ensures that our first responders have the resources they need to protect us and the equipment and training they need to do their jobs.”

“We are tremendously excited to receive this grant from FEMA,” said John Witherspoon of the Glen Echo Fire Department. “Just last fall, a Glen Echo Fire Department paramedic used an automatic external defibrillator to save a cardiac patient’s life in the Bannockburn community, so we know first-hand how valuable the technology can be and the importance of putting more AEDs ‘on the street’ and ready for immediate use. We are especially grateful to Senator Mikulski for making Maryland volunteer fire and rescue personnel one of her priorities, and we thank members of the Senator’s staff for their assistance and encouragement during the grant application process.”

The Glen Echo Fire Department will use the grant funds to purchase 2 Lifepak 1000 Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) with Pediatric capability and 2 RAD 57 CO/CO2 monitors. This equipment will allow firefighters to quickly respond to life threatening cardiac emergencies, and diagnose carbon monoxide poisoning. The Department will also purchase 10 new sets of personal protection equipment including helmets, turnout coat and pants, gloves, boots, and hoods to keep firefighters safe when they respond to emergencies.
AFGP grants fund firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects, and staffing recruitment and retention, as well as public fire safety education.

Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received nearly $120 million in AFGP funding, almost $15 million of which was awarded to fire departments in Montgomery County.

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