BALTIMORE – U.S. Senators Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, together with Congressmen Elijah E. Cummings and John P. Sarbanes (all D-Md.) today announced that the Baltimore City Fire Department will receive $5,810,800 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) program to hire 40 full time firefighter positions for two years, including training and full benefits. These new hires will replace 40 positions lost through attrition in the past two years.
“Protecting our citizens from harm is one of the most important functions of government,” said Senator Cardin. “This major federal investment in our community will help ensure that the Baltimore City Fire Department can recruit and retain the best applicants. First responders in Baltimore City put their lives on the line daily and deserve a federal partner as dedicated to public safety as they are.”
“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.”
“Baltimore’s firefighters and first responders face dangerous situations every day,” Cummings said. “This grant will ensure that they have the staffing levels and equipment they need to continue keeping Baltimore’s families and businesses safe.”
“To make our communities safer, we must invest proper resources in our first responders,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “This new federal grant-making for Baltimore will go a long way toward improving the capacity and efficiency of the city’s fire department, and will help bolster the city’s emergency response and preparedness capabilities.”
The Baltimore City Fire Department will use the grant funds to hire 40 full time firefighters to fully compliment 24/7 staffing for two full years including recruitment and training of the positions. For more information, please contact Baltimore City Fire Department Chief Niles R. Ford at 410-396-5616.
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 $186 million in grant funding, including $19.6 million awarded to the Baltimore City Fire Department.
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