WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Representative Jamie Raskin (all D-Md.) announced $760,875 in federal funding for volunteer fire departments in Montgomery County. The funding includes $536,195 for the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association and $244,680 for the Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department to support their volunteer recruitment and training efforts. The funding was awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.
“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.”
“Every day, volunteer firefighters in Montgomery County and across our state put their lives on the line for their communities, and this funding will help ensure that they have the appropriate staffing levels needed to 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.”
“We rely on firefighters to protect our community and I believe they should be able to rely on us in government,” said Rep. Raskin. “I’m grateful to our brave MCFRS volunteers 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.