August 11, 2020

Maryland Delegation Announces More Than $103,000 to Supply PPE for Eastern Shore Firefighters

New federal funding will keep local first responders safer from COVID-19

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) and Congressman Andy Harris (R-Md.) today announced $103,582.81 in new federal funding to the through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant – COVID-19 Supplemental Program (AFG-S) program. The funding will be used to purchase new personal protective equipment (PPE) and related supplies to the fire service community to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The grant awards $82,324.09 to the City of Salisbury Fire Department, Inc. The funding includes $21,260.72 for the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. in Chester, Md. 

“Maryland’s firefighters risk life and limb for our local communities. This funding means Eastern Shore firefighters can buy equipment to better protect themselves while serving the public,” said Senator Van Hollen. “I will keep fighting to ensure that Maryland’s first responders have the resources they need to improve their own safety as they protect our communities.”

“Every day our firefighters make enormous sacrifices when responding to emergencies, and the risks have greatly increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Cardin. “This supplemental PPE will help ensure our frontline workers are safe and have all the resources necessary for safely providing critical first-response services during the pandemic.”

“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I am pleased to support these grants to first responders. These men and women are selfless members of our community and federal assistance like this goes a long way in helping them serve and protect our community,” said Congressman Harris.

The lawmakers recently announced funding through the AFG program for neighboring fire departments along the Eastern Shore. They secured $355 million for the AFG program for Fiscal Year 2020. The AFG program strengthens the capability of fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations and state fire training academies to protect the health and safety of the public and first responder personnel. The lawmakers secured $100 million for the Fiscal Year 2020 COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) program, in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act) and continue to support robust funding for the program – including by urging FEMA Administrator Gaynor to increase federal support for firefighters as the COVID-19 crisis devastates state and local budgets.