Washington, DC – Today U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the Department of Homeland Security, has awarded a $21,429 grant to the Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Department for operations and safety. The grant will be used to buy a specially designed washer and drying cabinet for personal protective equipment, giving the department the ability to quickly remove dangerous carcinogens and hazardous materials that could pose a health risk to Sharpsburg’s firefighters.
“We continue to look for every way to ensure that Maryland’s first responders have the equipment they need to stay safe while they protect others from danger,” said Senator Cardin. “This federal investment in Sharpsburg’s firefighters will make a real difference in their ability to protect their community.”
“Sharpsburg’s firefighters put themselves in harm’s way to keep our families safe,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This grant will ensure their equipment is able to be quickly and thoroughly cleaned – making it safer for our first responders to use and reducing the time the equipment is out of service, which makes everyone in the community safer.”
Federal funds are awarded through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program (AFG), which awards grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations, and state fire training academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel.
Washington Co. Fire & EMS Departments have secured over $13 million in competitive grants through the AFG program since its inception. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Van Hollen worked to secure $345 million for the AFG program in the recent budget agreement for Fiscal Year 2017. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen are fighting to make sure this vital program is fully funded in the coming fiscal year.