Press Release

August 6, 2014
Cardin, Mikulski, Van Hollen Announce Federal Funding for Fire Prevention and Safety in Montgomery County

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, together with U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen (all D-Md.) today announced the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service has been awarded $86,450 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants, a part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program (AFG). The award will be used to expand a program to educate residents, particularly seniors, about the importance of smoke alarms and to provide updated smoke alarms to targeted residents of Montgomery County.

“Smoke detectors save lives. Fire safety and prevention campaigns make our neighborhoods safer and they keep our first responders out of harm’s way,” said Senator Cardin. “From fires to natural disasters to possible terrorist threats, I am proud to ensure the federal government remains a helpful partner in advancing public safety across Maryland.”

“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,” Senator Mikulski said. “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.”

“Our first responders selflessly put their lives on the line day-in and day-out to protect our community,” said Congressman Van Hollen. “This important funding will help give Montgomery County’s first responders the resources necessary to better protect themselves and the community. I will continue to work to ensure that our brave firefighters are receiving the training, education, and resources that they need to do their jobs and keep our families safe.”

The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service will use the competitive award to expand its program to educate residents, particularly senior citizens, on the importance of smoke alarms. The award will also be used to provide targeted distribution of upgraded smoke alarms equipped with long-life batteries to comply with the Maryland Smoke Detector Law, signed into law by Governor O’Malley on July 1, 2013. The goal of the initiative is to reduce fire fatalities and injuries by increasing awareness and accessibility to proper use of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. For more information, please contact Joe Coyne at 240-777-2438.

FP&S grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and hazard emergencies. AFG grants fund firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects, and staffing recruitment and retention, as well as public fire safety education.

Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received over $140 million in fire grant funding.  Montgomery County Fire & EMS Departments have been awarded over $15 million