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State congressional leaders urge Trump administration to increase federal firefighter support

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Posted at 9:02 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 21:02:07-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Maryland's congressional lawmakers are asking the Trump administration to increase federal support for firefighters.

On Thursday, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone sent to FEMA Administrator a letter to waive all state and local cost-share requirements for federal firefighting assistance through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG).

According to the delegation, it's required for state and local governments to contribute to 25 percent of awards made through these programs, which provide funds directly to local fire departments.

The SAFER grant program enhances the ability of fire departments around the country to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing.

The AFG program provides grants to fire departments, non affiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and state fire training academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel.