WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), headquartered in Emmitsburg, has been awarded a $1 million Fire Prevention and Safety Grant (FPS) through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) Programs. 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 Senate Budget Committee, which each year sets priorities for funding to federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.
“First responders have always been on the front lines, keeping our families and our neighborhoods safe from harm. I thank these brave men and women for their continuing service and sense of duty to our community,” said Senator Cardin. “I am proud to support federal investment through local grants like this, which is essential to ensure our community heroes have the equipment and training they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently.”
“Firefighters and their families already understand the hazards of being on the job, whether it is rushing into a burning building or suffering from physical exhaustion and injury. That is why this training is so important – it has the potential to save lives,” Senator Mikulski said. “First responders can count on me to fight for federal support and services to protect our protectors.”
Congress created the NFFF to lead a nationwide effort to remember America’s fallen firefighters. Since 1992, the nonprofit has developed and expanded programs to honor fallen fire heroes and assist their families and coworkers.
The NFFF will use the award funds to continue and expand its Everyone Goes Home program, which works to prevent firefighter line of duty deaths and injuries through increased training and awareness. Since the program began, line of duty deaths have decreased approximately 25 percent. This year, the NFFF will use grant funds to add elements focusing on behavioral health. Since 2004, the NFFF has received $7,732,508 in AFG competitive grant funding. For more information, contact Chief Ron Siarnicki, Executive Director of the NFFF, at 301-447-1365.
AFGP grants fund firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects, and staffing recruitment and retention. Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and fire service organizations have received more than $81 million through the AFGP.