FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, November 10, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) announced today that the Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad has been awarded $96,903 in federal funding through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. As co-chair of the Congressional Fire Caucus, Hoyer played a key role in helping establish the program, which helps local fire departments buy equipment and provide adequate training.
“First responders in Lexington Park and across the country do a great deal to protect our communities and it is our duty to provide them with all the available resources they need to safely perform their job,” Hoyer said.
Ken Hicks, President of the Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad, said the funding will purchase personal protective equipment for 111 of his members.
“We are extremely grateful for Congressman Hoyer’s continued support of local fire departments,” Hicks said. “As the busiest rescue squad in St. Mary’s County, this grant will go a long way to helping us effectively keep our communities safe.”
President Bush’s budget proposed funding the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program at only one third the level appropriated in Fiscal Year 2004 and 2005.
In May, the House adopted a Hoyer amendment that increased funding for this program by $541 million. The House and Senate later raised that total to $547 million.
“We ask far too many of our firefighters to risk their lives in our defense every day, too often with insufficient staffing, inadequate training and obsolete equipment,” Hoyer concluded. “I will continue to fight to provide our first responders with the resources necessary to perform their jobs as safely and effectively as possible.”