CPVFD Awarded FY2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ari Schloss, Fire Chief
College Park Volunteer Fire Department Awarded FY2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)
On March 1, 2023, the College Park Volunteer Fire Department (CPVFD) was awarded a Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The purpose of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program is to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards. The success of this grant was a combination effort led by Ron Benedict, former CPVFD member and owner of Fire Grants Expert, LLC.
CPVFD’s federal grant of $25,500 will allow for the replacement of washers and dryers with commercial-grade units as well as the purchase of a specially designed dryer for structural firefighting clothing. With the previous support of the College Park Community Foundation that enabled the CPVFD to purchase a specialized washer for structural fire fighting gear, this new federal grant will enable CPVFD to further our mission to provide for the health and safety of our members.
Fire fighters are exposed to combustion products of modern residential, commercial, vehicle, wildland and other fires that contain many hazardous substances. These include carcinogens (i.e., cancer causing chemicals), as well as communicable diseases, present during emergency responses and at the fire station. A carcinogen exposure to products of combustion does not require visible smoke. Chronic exposure to heat, smoke and toxicants puts fire fighters at higher risk for developing cancer when compared to non-fire fighters. Inhalation, ingestion and absorption of toxic substances causes cell damage that may lead to cancer. Several subject matter experts have advocated for washing personal clothing items, in addition to structural fire fighting gear, as soon as possible following potential exposure to carcinogens. College Park Volunteer Fire Department is grateful for the support of US Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD 5th District), who have been avid supporters of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), SAFER grant programs and the CPVFD.