WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, together with U.S. Representatives Chris Van Hollen and John Delaney (all D-Md.) today announced that the Frederick County Division of Fire & Rescue Services will receive $6,339,748 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) program to hire 41 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.
“Fire fighters across Maryland put their lives on the line daily to safeguard our communities. This federal investment will help ensure that Frederick 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.”
“Our first responders have a dangerous but necessary job, and our communities are grateful for the services and protection they provide,” said Congressman Van Hollen. “We have a duty to make sure our local fire departments have the resources and manpower they need to keep Marylanders safe, and I’m pleased that this funding will help boost the ranks of Frederick’s brave firefighters.”
“Forty one firefighters – just think of all the good that those men and women are going to do for the people of Frederick County,” said Congressman John K. Delaney. “This federal grant is really good news for Frederick County and is another example of why I’ve been proud to support the Department of Homeland Security’s SAFER program. Frederick County is one of the largest and most populous counties in Maryland with a broad range of public safety needs and I have no doubt that the service of these new first responders make a difference county-wide.”
The Frederick County Division of Fire & Rescue Services will use the grant funds to hire 41 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 Frederick County Fire Chief Thomas Owens at 301-600-1536.
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 $195 million in grant funding, including $15.1 million awarded to Frederick County Fire and Emergency Medical Service Departments.