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Fire companies get $316K for gear

January 26, 2009

The Maugansville-Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co. has been awarded $193,893 to purchase new turnout gear and self-contained breathing apparatus.

"We have been trying for this for two or three years," said outgoing Maugansville Fire Chief Phil Ridenour. "Some of our equipment was in really bad shape."

U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin, both D-Md., also announced Jan. 19 that the Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Co. has been awarded $122,483 to purchase new fire hoses. Many of its current fire hoses are from the 1970s.

The more than $316,000 in federal funding came through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

Mikulski is on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, while Cardin is a member of the Budget 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," Mikulski said.

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"First responders have always been on the front lines, keeping our families and our neighborhoods safe from harm," Cardin said. "I thank these brave men and women for their continuing service and sense of duty to our community."

Since 2001, Washington County fire departments and emergency medical services have been awarded more than $8 million in AFGP funding.

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