St. Mary's Receives $335,332 to Help Recruit Volunteer Firefighters, EMTs

WASHINGTON (August 27, 2010)—The St. Mary’s County Department of Public Safety will receive $335,332 in federal taxpayer dollars through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program to recruit volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

The County says they will use the competitive award to hire a designated staff person to focus on recruitment and retention in the county’s volunteer fire departments.

The goal of any SAFER grant is to enhance the ability of grantees to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing. The objective of the program is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination, and career fire departments to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire firefighters who were laid off due to the economy.

Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received nearly $91 million in fire grant funding, nearly $2 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in St. Mary’s County.

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