WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen John Sarbanes and Kweisi Mfume (all D-Md.) today announced $821,257.93 in federal funds for the Howard County Fire Department.
“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.”
“Maryland’s first responders deserve our gratitude, now more than ever,” said Congressman Mfume. “I am proud to support these public servants with this federal funding.”
The funding was awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters – COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) program, which 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.