WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, John Sarbanes, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone (all D-Md.) today announced $403,583 in federal funds for firefighters in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. In May, the delegation members sent a letter to Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf in support of Montgomery County’s application for funds to secure personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Equipping our first responders with the protection and the tools they need to do their job and keep our communities safe is essential always, but particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Cardin. “I am pleased to join in announcing this crucial federal funding for firefighters, as they have sacrificed their time and safety to help keep Marylanders safe. Team Maryland will always fight to support and provide for Maryland’s first responders.”
“Each and every day, Maryland’s firefighters put themselves on the front lines to protect the public. Their work has been crucial to our COVID-19 response, as they often respond to a range of calls including health emergencies. This funding will ensure that our local fire departments have the equipment necessary to do their jobs safely,” said Senator Van Hollen. “We will continue fighting for federal dollars to support Maryland’s first responders in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Maryland’s first responders and firefighters are serving on the frontlines of our state’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “This new federal funding will help ensure that our firefighters have the equipment and resources they need – including PPE and other critical supplies – to stay safe and healthy while they continue protecting our communities during this crisis.”
“We rely on firefighters to protect the public and I believe they should be able to rely on us in government,” said Rep. Raskin. “I’m grateful to our brave Montgomery County firefighters for all that they do to support public safety and public health during this pandemic, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in announcing federal funding to support their efforts.”
“Especially during a global pandemic, we have been able to count on our firefighters to protect our communities,” said Congressman David Trone. “It’s critical that we give these heroes the resources they need to do their jobs and stay safe. This funding will do just that. I will continue working with my Maryland colleagues to provide additional support for our first responders during this pandemic and beyond.”
The funding, awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters – COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) program, includes:
- $357,801.18 for Montgomery County
- $45,781.82 for the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad
- $36,601.36 for the College Park Volunteer Fire Department
The AFG-S program provides funds for the purchase of PPE and related supplies for our nation’s first responders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response. The AFG program provides grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and state fire training academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first responder personnel. The Members worked to secure $355 million for the AFG program for Fiscal Year 2020 as well as $100 million for the Fiscal Year 2020 AFG-S program, and continue to work towards robust funding for the program – including by urging FEMA Administrator Gaynor to increase federal support for firefighters as the pandemic devastates state and local budgets.