WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny Hoyer and Anthony G. Brown (all D-Md.) today announced more than $1.1 million in federal funds for Prince George’s County firefighters through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. The West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department will receive $625,450 and the Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad will receive $479,560 to increase firefighter recruitment and retention.
“Round-the-clock availability of well-trained firefighters is a matter of life and death for Maryland families,” said Senator Cardin. “Providing our volunteer fire departments with the resources necessary to ensure adequate staffing will reduce risks for them and for the people that they regularly save from harm. I thank firefighters throughout Maryland for their brave service and will continue to fight for robust federal resources to support their efforts.”
“Volunteer firefighters in Prince George’s County put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe, and this funding will help ensure that they have the staffing levels needed to properly respond to emergencies and protect Maryland families,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “I will keep working to support our first responders and provide them with the resources they need to keep Marylanders safe.”
“I’m pleased that these departments in Prince George’s County will receive critical funds to ensure they are able to continue serving communities in Maryland,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Our emergency personnel put their lives on the line for families in our state each and every day, and we must ensure they have the resources they need to do their jobs safety and effectively. I thank our first responders for their life-saving work and will continue to fight for additional funding for their departments.”
“I am committed to working with our state and local partners to ensure our public safety departments have the resources they need to protect families and businesses,” said Congressman Brown. “This grant will reduce response times in Prince George’s County especially when there are multiple emergencies, and provide for safer operations for all our firefighters.”
The SAFER grant program enhances the ability of fire departments around the country to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing by providing grants directly to fire departments. Specifically, the grants help fire departments increase the number of frontline firefighters and help rehire firefighters who lost their jobs during the economic downturn. The SAFER program provides approximately $350 million in competitive grants to fire departments and statewide or local volunteer firefighter support groups.