Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressman David Trone (all D-Md.) announced $534,431 in federal funding for Maryland firefighters in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties.
The funding will enhance firefighters’ emergency response capabilities and their ability to protect the health and safety of the public and themselves. It will also support the recruitment and retention of additional firefighters.
“Maryland’s firefighters and first responders risk their lives and well-being to protect others and the safety of our communities,” said the lawmakers. “This federal funding will ensure that our local fire departments have the tools they need to continue doing their jobs more safely and provide critical services to communities throughout Western Maryland.”
The federal grants have been awarded as follows:
- $207,753.33 to Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Co., Inc. in Garrett County to replace 25 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units
- $218,477.04 to Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Co. in Washington County to purchase 51 sets of turnout gear
- $93,154.72 to Williamsport Volunteer Fire Department and EMS in Washington County to replace breathing air compressor and fill station
- $16,476.19 to Shaft Volunteer Fire Department in Allegany County to acquire a turnout gear extractor and dryer.
In addition to these awards, the lawmakers recently delivered more than $9.7 million in SAFER award funding to hire 32 additional firefighters in Frederick County.
Funding is from the Department of Homeland Security’s FY2022 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) awards. The programs are administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.
The Fire Grants and Safety Act of 2023 was passed by the Senate in April. The bill reauthorizes funding for the U.S. Fire Administration, AFG, and SAFER through FY2030, which will otherwise lapse in September 2024 if the House does not vote to send the bill to the president’s desk before then.