July 15, 2010

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE FEDERAL FUNDING TO HIRE 24 ADDITIONAL FIREFIGHTERS IN PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced Prince George 's County Fire/EMS won $3.5 million in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program to hire 24 additional firefighters. Senator Mikulski is on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the AFGP and fights each year to increase its federal funding. Senator Cardin is a member of the Budget Committee, which each year sets priorities for funding to federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security .

 

"This funding ensures that Prince George 's County resident can feel confident that their fire departments have the personnel needed to provide 24-hour coverage," said Senator Cardin, chairman of the Homeland Security and Terrorism Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee. "It's critical that Prince George 's County has the first responders that are needed to be able to deal with any emergency or crisis situation."

 

 "This funding is about the jobs that are crucial in any community - the jobs of our first responders that often mean the difference between life and death," Senator Mikulski said. "In today's tough economy, fire departments don't need a hand out, they need a helping hand. These funds will help Prince George 's Fire/EMS hire the firefighters needed protect our homes and communities. 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."

 

Prince George 's County Fire/EMS will use the competitive award to hire 24 additional firefighters before the end of this year, assuring that the communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. For more information, please contact Mark Brady, Public Information Officer, at 301-583-2200.

 

The goal of any SAFER grant is to enhance the ability of grantees to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing. The objective of the program is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination, and career fire departments to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire firefighters who were laid-off due to the economy.

 

Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received nearly $89 million in AFGP funding, more than $15 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in Prince George 's County.