WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Steny Hoyer (all D-Md.) announced $121,904 in federal funding for volunteer fire departments in Prince George’s County. The funding includes $71,428 for the Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad to purchase and install two self-loading power cot stretcher units and two new stair chairs and $50,476 for the Brandywine Volunteer Fire Department to replace hydraulic rescue tools, which are outdated and beyond their useful lifespan. The funding was awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.
“Equipping our first responders with the tools they need is a matter of life and death – for them and for the people they regularly save from harm. The AFG program provides critical federal resources for improvements that volunteer fire departments would not be able to afford on their own. I will continue to fight for such investments in public safety for Prince George’s County and communities throughout Maryland,” said Senator Cardin.
“Providing our local first responders with the resources they need is crucial to their ability to serve our communities. This funding will allow volunteer fire departments in Prince George’s County to upgrade their equipment, and will better prepare them to achieve their life-saving mission,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “In the Senate, I will continue working to support Maryland’s emergency responders.”
“I’m glad volunteer fire departments in Prince George’s County will receive new funds to replace outdated equipment and ensure our firefighters have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Our emergency responders put their lives on the line each day to serve their communities, and we must ensure they have the resources needed to safely protect families in our County.”
Federal funds are awarded through the AFG 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. The Members worked to secure $350 million for the AFG program for Fiscal Year 2019 and continue to work towards robust funding for the program. The Maryland delegation is announcing over $30 million in funding for first responders throughout the state.