Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Company received $468,000 in federal funding to assist in recruiting new members, Maryland’s federal legislators announced Aug. 25.
“Every minute counts in an emergency. This funding will help ensure that our fire departments have the staffing levels necessary to protect Maryland families and businesses,” Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Jamie Raskin announced in a new release.
“The Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department is both grateful and relieved to receive the SAFER grant funding. Keeping a full-time recruiter is our only chance of meeting the constant demand of attracting and retaining qualified volunteers to staff emergency apparatus in these challenging times. SAFER grant funding has proven to be the pivotal piece in a comprehensive and coordinated campaign,” wrote Tamera Bulla, fire department president.
The money was awarded through the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.
Also receiving the federal funds were two fire departments in Prince George’s County. The Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department received $448,500, and the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department was awarded $226,000.
The program enhances the ability of fire departments around the country to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing by providing grants directly to fire departments for marketing activities, recruiter hiring, higher education tuition reimbursement, training and professional development and company incentive programs.