WASHINGTON – 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 $500,000 grant to the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI).
“This grant represents an investment both in Maryland first responders and in Marylanders’ safety, which is exactly the type of investment the federal government should be making,” said Senator Cardin. “I’m very pleased the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute will have the resources they need to continue the sophisticated training that helps our firefighters keep our families safe. They deserve the best equipment and the greatest odds of success. This investment will ensure both.”
“Our first responders put their lives on the line every day, and we must ensure they have the training and equipment necessary to respond to emergencies,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This grant will help Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute obtain equipment that is essential to training the firefighters who keep our communities safe.”
MFRI will use the grant funding to purchase tools such as driving simulators, hydraulic forcible entry tools, 50 sets of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, and an incident management simulation kit.
“MFRI will be able to substantially improve its training services and safety for fire instructors by the purchase of these grant items,” said Steven T. Edwards, Director of the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute. “We train over 34,000 students each year and this needed equipment will allow us to do this in a more effective manner. In addition, the driving training simulators represent new technology that greatly enhances the learning environment of emergency driver training and safety. Our sincere thanks to Senators Van Hollen and Cardin for their work in strongly supporting the AFG grant program.”
Federal funds are awarded through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, 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.