Sarbanes, Maryland Delegation Members Announce More Than More Than $400,000 to Support Firefighters in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County

July 16, 2020
CONTACT: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, along with Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.) in announcing $403,583 in federal funding for firefighters in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.

In May, the Delegation Members sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf in support of Montgomery County’s application for funds to secure personal protective equipment (PPE).

“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.”

“Equipping our first responders with the protection and the tools they need to do their job and keep our communities safe is essential always, but particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Cardin. “I am pleased to join in announcing this crucial federal funding for firefighters, as they have sacrificed their time and safety to help keep Marylanders safe. Team Maryland will always fight to support and provide for Maryland’s first responders.”

“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 our local fire departments 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.”

“I’m pleased that our fire departments will receive this critical funding,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Our firefighters put their lives on the line each day to protect families in our communities, and we must ensure they have the resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively – especially during a pandemic. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to secure important funding for our fire departments.”

Firefighters across Maryland demonstrate bravery and dedicated service to our communities each and every day. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges but firefighters have continued their work protecting our neighbors and keeping us all safe,” said Congressman Brown. “Getting firefighters the resources, PPE and equipment they need to get the job done and return home safely is critical to ensuring community safety during these difficult times.”

“We rely on firefighters to protect the public and I believe they should be able to rely on us in government,” said Rep. Raskin. “I’m grateful to our brave Montgomery County firefighters for all that they do to support public safety and public health during this pandemic, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in announcing federal funding to support their efforts.”

“Especially during a global pandemic, we have been able to count on our firefighters to protect our communities,” said Congressman Trone. “It’s critical that we give these heroes the resources they need to do their jobs and stay safe. This funding will do just that. I will continue working with my Maryland colleagues to provide additional support for our first responders during this pandemic and beyond.”

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. 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 funding Montgomery County and Prince George’s County includes:

  • $357,801.18 for Montgomery County
  • $45,781.82 for the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad
  • $36,601.36 for the College Park Volunteer Fire Department

The Members worked to secure $355 million for the AFG program in Fiscal Year 2020, including $100 million for the Fiscal Year 2020 AFG-S program. The Members also recently urged FEMA Administrator Peter T. Gaynor to increase federal support for firefighters as the pandemic devastates state and local budgets.