WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Representatives Jamie Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.) today announced more than $5,585,000 in federal funds for Western Maryland through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. Frederick County will receive $5,498,500 for additional staffing, while the Community Volunteer Fire Company of District No. 12 in Fairplay will also receive more than $96,000 for recruitment and retention.
“Maryland firefighters risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe. As a federal delegation, we are committed to making sure that they have the resources needed to carry out their mission as safely and effectively as possible. These funds were granted in response to the clear message from firefighters in Western Maryland that additional staffing would improve their ability to respond to emergencies,” said the members.
“We were grateful for this action from our federal delegation to bring additional career firefighters/paramedics to Frederick County,” said Stephen Jones, President of Frederick County International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 3666. “Staffing enhancements are long overdue and this grant will permit us to do more with taxpayer resources – to save more lives, homes, and businesses.”
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.