SEABROOK — Two volunteer fire departments in Prince George’s County will receive over $121,000 in funding as part of a federal grant program, Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Steny Hoyer (all D-Md.) announced on Oct. 9.
A combined $121,904 was awarded to the Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad and Brandywine Volunteer Fire Department. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program provides the funding for the grants.
Berwyn Heights will receive $71,428 to purchase and install two self-loading power cot stretcher units and two new stair chairs, and Brandywine will receive $50,476 to replace hydraulic rescue tools that were outdated and no longer useful.
“Providing our local first responders with the resources they need is crucial to their ability to serve our communities,” Van Hollen said. “This funding will allow volunteer fire departments in Prince George’s County to upgrade their equipment, and will better prepare them to achieve their life-saving mission.”
The AFG program provides grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations and state fire training academies and first-responder personnel to help them be better able to serve the public, officials say. Members of the group worked to secure $350 million for the AFG group in the 2019 fiscal year, $30 million of which will go to first responders throughout the state of Maryland.
“I’m glad volunteer fire departments in Prince George’s County will receive new funds to replace outdated equipment and ensure our firefighters have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively,” Hoyer said. “Our emergency responders put their lives on the line each day to serve their communities, and we must ensure they have the resources needed to safely protect families in our county.”
This is the second announcement in as many months that Prince George’s County Fire Departments will be receiving funding through the AFG Program. On Sept. 9, Hoyer’s office announced that the Prince George’s County Fire Department would receive $272,727.27 and the College Park Volunteer Fire Department would receive $17,619.04.
Hoyer works with the AFG and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program and leads a letter along with other members of Congress to the Appropriations Committee to make sure funding is appropriated for the program.