WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) announced that the Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Company in Baltimore County will receive $56,152 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This funding will allow the Company to upgrade its diesel exhaust extraction system, which is used to capture and remove harmful carcinogenic diesel exhaust from fire and emergency response vehicles in station engine bays.
Earlier this year, the Senators secured $2 million in funding to implement the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act as part of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen were co-sponsors of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, which was signed into law in July. This legislation creates a national firefighter registry of cancer incidence – allowing for better research and understanding of the link between firefighting and cancer.
“Our first responders deserve safe, updated work facilities capable of protecting them while they go about the dangerous business of protecting us,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “These funds represent a federal investment in Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Company’s safety and security, and I’ll keep fighting to ensure all our first responders, in every corner of our state, have the resources they need as well.”
“Every day, the first responders in Baltimore County and across our state put their lives on the line to protect our communities. It’s our job to ensure they have the tools they need to safely and effectively do just that,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “These funds will help keep our firefighters safe, and I will continue working to support Maryland’s first responders and provide the resources they need to serve our communities.”
Federal funds are awarded through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, which provides grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services 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. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen worked to secure $350 million for the AFG program for Fiscal Year 2018 and continue to work towards robust funding in Fiscal Year 2019.