Today U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a $43,320 grant to the Hughesville Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad (HVFDRS) in Charles County. HVFDRS will use the funding to replace its existing air compressor, which is over 30 years old and lacks modern safety features. Having an on-site air compressor allows for the refilling of air tanks for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus.
“This grant will help Hughesville’s firefighters better serve and protect their community,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations and Budget Committees. “We must ensure that first responders across Maryland have the tools and equipment they need to respond to emergencies and save lives. I will continue working to support Maryland’s first responders and provide the resources they need to keep our communities safe.”
“Our first responders deserve safe, updated equipment capable of protecting them while they go about the dangerous business of protecting us,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “This federal investment will help ensure they have exactly that. I’m glad to see Hughesville’s Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad getting the equipment they both need and deserve, and I’m committed to bringing these critical investments to first responders across our whole state.”
Federal funds are awarded through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, which 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 that of first-responder personnel. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen worked to secure $345 million for the AFG program for Fiscal Year 2018 and continue to work towards robust funding in Fiscal Year 2019.