WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Representative Jaime Raskin (all D-Md.) today announced $273,670 in federal funds through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Co. 1 will use the funding to improve recruitment of new firefighters and retention of existing members.
“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.”
“The men and women of the Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Company put their lives on the line every day to keep the community safe, and this funding will help ensure that they have the staffing levels needed to properly handle emergencies and protect Maryland families,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “I will keep working to support our volunteer firefighters and provide them with the resources they need to keep Marylanders safe.”
“We rely on firefighters to protect our community and I believe they should be able to rely on us in government,” said Representative Raskin. “I’m grateful to Maryland’s brave firefighters for all that they do to keep the public safe, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in announcing this federal funding to support their efforts.”
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.