WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, along with U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen (all D-Md.) today announced the Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $112,045 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 establish an all-volunteer Life Safety Unit to focus on improving home safety for older adults and individuals with disabilities. . 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 Congressman Van Hollen is Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee.
“Our first responders need the right resources at the ready to protect them as they protect the public, especially our most vulnerable citizens,” said Senator Cardin. “This federal funding is an important investment in keeping Maryland’s seniors, individuals with disabilities, and our entire community safe through prevention.”
“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.”
“Our first responders selflessly put their lives on the line day-in and day-out to protect our community,” said Congressman Van Hollen. “This important funding will help give the Silver Spring Fire Department the resources necessary to educate the community about fire prevention and safety. I will continue to work to ensure that our brave firefighters are receiving the training, education, and resources that they need to do their jobs and keep our families safe.”
The Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Department will use the competitive award to establish a Life Safety Unit which will initiate a public education campaign and home safety checkups with the goal of reducing injury and death from fire, falls, and other home hazards. The unit will focus its efforts on seniors and individuals with disabilities. Approximately 500 smoke alarms and hearing impaired smoke alarms will be installed as needed. Carbon monoxide detectors will also be installed. For more information, please contact Marie Warner at 301-58-3400 ext. 168.
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 over $132.5 million in fire grant funding. Montgomery County Fire & EMS Departments have been awarded over $15 million since 2001.