WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that the Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services has been awarded $201,524 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Fire Prevention and Safety Grant (FPS) program as part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG).
“Keeping our neighbors, especially our seniors, safe is one of many tasks our first responders take on daily to keep our communities safe,” 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.”
The Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services will use this federal funding to initiate “Remembering When”, a county wide assessment of County residents age 65 and over to reduce preventable injuries and deaths. The program will identify aging communities, educate the aging population, conduct home inspections, and a follow-up evaluation. The home inspection will provide an assessment for falls and a working smoke alarm.
The AFG Program of the DHS, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an important component of the larger, coordinated effort to strengthen the Nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. Since 2001, the AFG has provided approximately $6.4 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training. Over the course of 2016, the AFG will award $304.5 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.
Since 2001, Howard County Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received nearly $2.6 million from the AFG. Statewide, Maryland has received nearly $196 million in the same period.