WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) announced $2.3 million from the Department of Justice’s Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) in Emmitsburg, MD. The NFFF will use this funding to support a variety of projects that impact firefighters and fire departments across the country, from counseling and training to database improvement and survivor services. Additionally, these funds support the Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, held in Emmitsburg every October.
“When firefighters put themselves at risk for public safety, this federal grant program gives them peace of mind that they and their families will be provided for in the worst-case scenario. It also helps to prepare local fire departments to deal with the tragedies that do occur,” said Senator Cardin. “The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, located in our home state of Maryland, has proven to be a dedicated federal partner in this important cause and I will continue to support their work.”
“Firefighters put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe, and some make the ultimate sacrifice to protect our families – they deserve not only our respect, but our support. This grant will help support the families of fallen firefighters and those who have been catastrophically injured working to protect the rest of us,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations and Budget Committees. “I will continue working to support Maryland’s first responders and keep our communities safe.”
In the Fiscal Year 2019 omnibus appropriations bill, Senators Cardin and Van Hollen fought to secure $104,000,000 in funding for the PSOB Program. The PSOB Program provides death and education benefits to survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders, and disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty. According to the Department of Justice, the PSOB Office reviews the more than 1,000 claims submitted each year on behalf of America’s fallen and catastrophically disabled public safety heroes and their loved ones.