Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services has received $821,257 in federal funding, secured by Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Congressmen John Sarbanes and Kweisi Mfume. 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 COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re grateful to our federal delegation members who are advocating tirelessly for our first responders,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched our resources, and this critical funding will support PPE and other equipment to keep our firefighters, paramedics, and responders safe throughout our response and recovery.”
“A top priority of mine is the health and wellness of our firefighters and paramedics during any incident or situation,” said Fire Chief William Anuszewski. “Being awarded this grant will help to provide personal protective equipment for our responders to ensure their safety so we can continue to provide excellent service to Howard County. In our profession, we train and prepare for any hazards that may arise and although no one has a clear picture as to what the next few months will look like during this pandemic, these resources will help us be better prepared.”
“Firefighters across Maryland make daily sacrifices, especially while serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. I offer my sincere gratitude to the men and women who keep Maryland safe,” said Senator Cardin. “This federal funding will help guarantee that firefighters will have the resources and equipment they need, and better enable them to do what is necessary to protect our communities.”
“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 Howard County’s firefighters 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.”
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 first responders. The delegation also recently urged FEMA Administrator Peter T. Gaynor to increase federal support for firefighters as the pandemic devastates state and local budgets.