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September 23, 2019

Western Maryland receives $5.6M grant for first responders

The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency recently awarded Western Maryland more than $5.6 million through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.

The bulk of the funding, $5.5 million, was awarded to Frederick County while the Community Volunteer Fire Co. of District No. 12 in Fairplay will also receive more than $96,000.

The purpose of the SAFER grant program is to help fire departments rehire firefighters who lost their jobs during the economic downturn and to increase the number of frontline firefighters. The goal is for fire departments nationwide to hire and maintain 24-hour staffing.

Frederick County will use the funding for additional staffing, and Community Volunteer Fire Co. will use the funding for recruitment and retention.

The awards were announced by U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and U.S. Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and David Trone (D-MD).

“Maryland firefighters risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe,” the legislators said. “As a federal delegation, we are committed to making sure that they have the resources needed to carry out their mission as safely and effectively as possible. These funds were granted in response to the clear message from firefighters in Western Maryland that additional staffing would improve their ability to respond to emergencies.”