$2 Million to go Towards Firefighter Recruitment in Md. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

$2 Million to go Towards Firefighter Recruitment in Md.

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WASHINGTON- Maryland Democratic Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski announced that more than $2 million in federal funding will go toward enhancing volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention.

The senators said the Maryland Fire Chiefs Association (MFCA) and the Maryland State Fireman’s Association (MSFA) will receive $2,254,670 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.

MSFA and MFCA will use the federal funding to start a four-year project to develop marketing programs to show the value of volunteer firefighters. The additional money will help local fire companies come up with their own ways to recruit and keep firefighters.

Part of the funding will go towards scholarship for volunteer responders to attend higher education training programs and national level training conferences.

“Ensuring that we have the first responders in place to protect Marylanders has always been a priority for me,” Senator Cardin said. “From fires to natural disasters to possible terrorist threats, communities cannot shoulder this burden alone. It is important that the federal government give local communities the resources they need recruit and retain the first responders that are needed to protect us from harm.”

“I know how important this funding is to Maryland communities – often it’s the difference between life and death. First responders protect our homes and communities, and the federal government has a responsibility to protect them by providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs safer and smarter,” Senator Mikulski said. “Every day when our first responders report for duty, they don’t know what they will face. That’s why I fight every year for the equipment, training, and staffing our protectors and communities deserve.”

Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received over $137 million in fire grant funding.

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