WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes and Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.) today announced $904,545.45 in federal funding for firefighters and first responders in Baltimore, Md. through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant – COVID-19 Supplemental Program (AFG-S) program. The funding will help purchase new personal protective equipment (PPE) and related supplies for Baltimore City firefighters as they continue to protect and serve city residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Baltimore City firefighters and first responders are on the frontlines every single day, working tirelessly to keep Marylanders safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the lawmakers. “We will continue to secure federal funding that helps protect our local heroes and our communities during these challenging times.”
“Throughout this pandemic, the brave men and women of the Baltimore City Fire Department continue to demonstrate their commitment to this city,” said Fire Chief Niles R. Ford, PhD. “While the safety of each member remains at the forefront of my administration, receiving the FEMA grant for additional PPE underscores the need for continuous protection for our first responders as they work to keep the community safe during this pandemic.”
The AFG program provides grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and state fire training academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first responder personnel.
The Members worked to secure $355 million for the AFG program for Fiscal Year 2020 as well as $100 million for the Fiscal Year 2020 AFG-S program. They have also urged FEMA Administrator Gaynor to increase federal support for firefighters as the COVID-19 crisis devastates state and local budgets.