EMMITSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — Maryland legislators announced $1.5 million in federal funding for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman David Trone secured the funding through the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency Fire Prevention & Safety Grants program.
“Our firefighters put themselves at risk every day. We should be doing everything that we can to keep them safe, and an important aspect of that is research,” said Senator Cardin. “The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, located in our home state of Maryland, is a dedicated federal partner in this important cause. I will continue to advocate for federal support.”
Officials say the grant will support programs to educate and train organizations on the causes of firefighter fatalities.
“Firefighters put their lives on the line every day, and they deserve not only our respect but our support. This grant will fund important research and firefighter safety initiatives at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to help us understand how to better protect these men and women as they risk their lives to protect our communities,” said Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “I will continue working to support first responders across our state and our country.”
Additionally, the money will go towards a study on firefighter safety, which officials say is much needed.
“One of the big areas that need work is evidence-based research; research relative to fire dynamics, firefighter operations, the latest in technology and safety equipment to keep our firefighters safe and hopefully protect lives and property,” explained executive director for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Ron Siarnicki.
Officials add that the funding will also go towards addressing illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder and cancer found among firefighters.
“It is our duty to protect our firefighters, who put themselves in danger to keep our communities safe,” said Congressman Trone. “With this funding, we can better understand firefighter safety, prevent injuries, and honor the memories of our fallen heroes. I will continue to support Maryland firefighters in Congress.”