Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, along with Congressmen Steny Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger and Anthony G. Brown (all D-Md.), to announce a recent award of more than $8,549,000 in federal funding for Anne Arundel County through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. These funds will enable the county to hire additional career firefighters. Odenton Volunteer Fire Company in Anne Arundel County also received $238,400 through the SAFER grant to increase recruitment and retention.
"Our firefighters risk their lives every day to keep the community safe. We are committed to making sure that they have the resources that they need to carry out their mission as safely and effectively as possible. These funds were granted in response to the clear message that additional staffing would improve their ability to respond to emergencies throughout Anne Arundel County,” the Members said.
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. Specifically, the grants help fire departments increase the number of frontline firefighters and help rehire firefighters who lost their jobs during the economic downturn. The SAFER program provides approximately $350 million in competitive grants to fire departments and statewide or local volunteer firefighter support groups.