WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (all Md.) today announced $184,738.10 in federal funds to The Galena Volunteer Fire Company in Kent County, Md. The grant, awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, will be used to purchase new Self-Contained Automated Breathing Apparatus Units, which provide firefighters with fresh oxygen and protects them from breathing harmful carcinogens when responding to fires. Additionally, Galena Volunteer Fire Company received $2,552.38 through the AFG-Supplemental Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) program for purchasing EMS coveralls to aid firefighters in responding to COVID-19.
“As we continue to combat COVID-19, we must provide our firefighters and first responders with the resources they need to keep Marylanders safe,” the lawmakers said. “Team Maryland will continue to fight for federal funding to support our firefighters as they serve our communities on the front lines of this pandemic.”
The AFG program enhances the ability of fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations and state fire training academies to protect the health and safety of the public and first responder personnel.
The lawmakers have 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 support robust funding for the program – including by urging FEMA Administrator Gaynor to increase federal support for firefighters as the COVID-19 crisis devastates state and local budgets.