WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05), Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) today announced funding for firefighters in Southern Maryland. The Members announced $576,562.77 in federal funding for firefighters and first responders in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties. The funding was awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters program. 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.
They also announced $493,500 in federal funding for Calvert County firefighters through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. 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.
"I’m pleased our first responders in Southern Maryland will receive this key funding,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our firefighters and first responders have put their safety on the line to protect our communities. It is critically important that we ensure they have the resources they need to protect themselves and Maryland families."
"In the midst of this public health crisis, Maryland’s brave firefighters and first responders are being asked to do more with less,” said Senator Cardin. “I’m proud that Team Maryland was able to secure more federal funds for first responders in Southern Maryland to ensure that they are always equipped with the tools and resources necessary to protect their safety and the safety of those they serve."
"Maryland’s firefighters risk life and limb for our local communities. This funding means Southern Maryland firefighters can buy equipment to better protect themselves and the communities they serve,” said Senator Van Hollen. “I will keep fighting to ensure that Maryland’s first responders have the resources they need to do their job safely.
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 COVID-19 crisis devastates state and local budgets.
As co-chair of the Congressional Fire Caucus, Congressman Hoyer took a lead role in helping to establish the AFG Program, and over $15 million has been awarded to Fifth District fire departments since the program was established. Click here for more information.