Press Release

August 29, 2016
Cardin, Mikulski Announce $368,250 in Federal Funding for Recruitment & Retention of Firefighters in Queen Anne’s County

WASHINGTONU.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that the United Communities Volunteer Fire Department in Stevensville, MD will receive $368,250 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) program.

“Fire fighters across Maryland put their lives on the line daily to safeguard our communities. This federal investment will help ensure that Queen Anne’s County is able to recruit the very best first responders,” said Senator Cardin. “I want each of them, and their families, to know that they have federal partners who are as dedicated to the mission as they are. Protecting our first responders is a matter of national security and the right thing to do for our communities.”

“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 and staffing 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 United Communities Volunteer Fire Department will use this federal funding to hire a recruitment coordinator, initiate a volunteer cadet program and reimburse volunteers for cost associated with training and continuing education. In 2010 the Department was also awarded a SAFER Grant of $333,600. Today’s award will ensure that the success of that initial grant will continue uninterrupted. For more information, contact Chief Ron Siarnicki at 410-643-1162

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. The SAFER program provides approximately $345 million in competitive grants to fire departments and statewide or local volunteer firefighter support groups.

Since 2001, Maryland Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received more than $196 million in grant funding, including $2.7 million awarded to Queen Anne’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Service Departments.