WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, along with U.S. Representative John Sarbanes (all D-Md.) today announced the Baltimore City Fire Department has been awarded $148,018 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants, a part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program (AFG). The award will be used to distribute smoke alarms throughout the city. Senator Cardin is a member of the Finance Committee. As the Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski fights each year to increase federal funding for the fire grants program.
“Smoke detectors save lives. Fire safety and prevention campaigns keep our brave first responders out of harm’s way by reducing the chance of fire or other unforeseen disaster,” said Senator Cardin. “This federal funding is an important investment in keeping Baltimore neighborhoods and families safe.”
“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.”
“Fire detectors provide early warning of danger and dramatically reduce the rate of injury and death,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “This critical investment will allow Baltimore City’s first responders to educate families and provide them with the equipment they need to be safe in an emergency.”
The Baltimore City Fire Department will use the competitive award to initiate a new program for distributing smoke alarms throughout the City. The goal of the program is to reduce residential fire deaths by using the 311 non-emergency infrastructure to offer smoke alarm installation by fire department personnel when residents are available. In partnership with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Mayor’s Office, the Baltimore City Fire Department will work to promote the 311 system city-wide. For more information, please contact James Clack at 410-396-3083.
FP&S grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and hazard emergencies. AFG grants fund firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects, and staffing recruitment and retention, as well as public fire safety education.
Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received more than $132.5 million in fire grant funding. Baltimore City Fire & EMS Departments have been awarded over $11.5 million since 2001.