Sen. Barbara Mikulski Monday announced a $7 million grant for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.
Mikulski helped secure that money through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response federal grant program. That program is designed to find areas that need extra staffing for fire and medic responders.
In the last 15 years the population in the county has grown 10 percent yet emergency calls have gone up 50 percent, qualifying Anne Arundel County for the grant.
“Anne Arundel county fire department had 74,000 calls last year alone. That's almost 200 responses a day,” Mikulski said.
The $7 million will add 52 fire fighters to the county. Chief Allan Graves says his people and the people in the county that they serve will be safer.
“By adding the additional staffing we are able to make sure the fire fighters are safe because they have enough people there to help them. We also provide better service to the public, so it's better for the public as well,” Graves said.
The grant money will fund training, personal gear and firefighting equipment for the 52 newly hired fire fighters in the county for two years.
Hiring more fire fighters will help reduce the cost of overtime because they will have more responders filling shifts in the county.