WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny Hoyer, Anthony G. Brown, and Jamie Raskin (all D-Md.) today announced $1,142,500 in federal funding for Prince George’s and Montgomery County firefighters through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.
Awards were allocated as follows:
- $448,500 to the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department
- $226,000 to the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department
- $468,000 to the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department
“Every minute counts in an emergency. This funding will help ensure that our fire departments have the staffing levels necessary to protect Maryland families and businesses,” said the lawmakers. “For the good of Maryland’s communities, we will continue to focus on getting our first responders the staffing resources they need.”
“Recruiting new volunteers is challenging in these times but the resources the SAFER grant program provides to our department and others is critical to ensure we continue to provide the best in class service to our growing community,” said Kevin King, Vice President of the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department.
“The Kentland Volunteer Fire Department is deeply grateful for the funds awarded by the safer grant, which will be used to build upon existing initiatives focused on recruiting, training, and retaining world class volunteers. With this support, KVFD will be able to expand on programs to guarantee we are able to provide exemplary emergency response to the greater Landover community,” said Oleg Pelekhaty, Chief of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department.
“The Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department is both grateful and relieved to receive the SAFER grant funding. Keeping a full-time recruiter is our only chance of meeting the constant demand of attracting and retaining qualified volunteers to staff emergency apparatus in these challenging times. SAFER grant funding has proven to be the pivotal piece in a comprehensive and coordinated campaign. The BVFD also expresses great appreciation to Senator Van Hollen for his ongoing support of volunteers in today’s fire service,” said Tamera Bulla, President of the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department.
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 for marketing activities, recruiter hiring, higher education tuition reimbursement, training and professional development and company incentive programs.