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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reps. Hoyer & Edwards Announce $3,458,682 Grant Award to Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD-5) and Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4), announced today that the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department will receive a $3,458,682 grant through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program (SAFER). This funding will be utilized by the County to hire an additional 24 firefighters.

“Throughout the nation, our local governments have been forced to make tough budgetary choices in the face of our recent economic downturn. I am pleased that this funding will assist Prince George’s County in ensuring that it has the staffing needed to adequately respond to emergencies and protect our citizens,” said Congressman Hoyer. “As co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, I am proud to have helped establish and fund the SAFER Program, and I am pleased that funds from this vital program will help the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department more efficiently and safely undertake their mission.”

“The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program has been a tremendous resource for ensuring that our communities receive 24-hour protection from fire and fire related hazards,” said Congresswoman Edwards. “I am excited that these funds are going where they are needed – to help the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department better serve our families and our friends.”

SAFER grant funds are awarded to fire departments and EMS organizations across the nation to enhance their response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel. These grants will help fire departments hire new firefighters, recruit and retain volunteer firefighters, and provide relief to stations currently operating short of staff. The FY 2010 DHS Appropriations Act provided $420 million for the SAFER Grant Program, which will go directly to departments around the country. The House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee recently marked-up their FY 2011 bill and again included $420 million for the SAFER program. Since 2005, Maryland has received more than $10 million in SAFER grant funding.

Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones of the Prince George's County Maryland Fire/EMS Department stated, “The award of this SAFER Grant will allow us to hire 24 firefighters to staff our fire/EMS apparatus. The award of this grant equates to the saving of lives and property.”

Congressman Hoyer and Congresswoman Edwards have also been longtime supporters of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Grant funds made available through the AFG are awarded to fire departments and EMS organizations across the nation to enhance their response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel. Since 2001, AFG has provided more than $60.6 million in assistance to first-responder organizations in Maryland for training and the purchase of personnel protective gear and response equipment and vehicles. The House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee included $420 million for the AFG program in its FY2011 bill.

For more information on grants available to fire departments and emergency responders, visit http://www.firegrantsupport.com/. This site also offers resources to help fire departments prepare and submit grant requests.

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