WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin (both D-Md.) today announced the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) in Baltimore has received a $1 million Fire Prevention and Safety Grant (FPS) to support research to help reduce the number of firefighter fatalities due to heart attacks. Heart attacks remain the leading cause of death for firefighters today.
The FPS grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP). Senator Mikulski is on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the AFGP and fights each year to increase its federal funding. Senator Cardin is a member of the Senate Budget Committee, which each year sets priorities for funding to federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.
“Firefighters and their families already understand the hazards of being on the job, whether it is rushing into a burning building or suffering from physical exhaustion and injury. That is why this research is so important – it could potentially save lives,” said Senator Mikulski. “First responders can count on me to fight to provide the federal support and services needed to protect our protectors.”
“Firefighters risk their lives to protect our citizens and we must provide researchers with the tools they need to ensure our first responders’ health and safety,” said Senator Cardin. “The Bloomberg School of Public Health has the knowledge and expertise to investigate ways to reduce firefighter fatalities from preventable cardiovascular conditions.”
JHSPH is collaborating with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) in this research effort. The Project Director, Dr. Keshia Pollack, faculty of the Department of Health Policy and Management at JHSPH, and her team will work with the NVFC to identify barriers that limit the implementation of wellness and fitness interventions among firefighters and fire departments in Maryland and Arizona. This project will generate needed research to inform the development of policies and programs that reduce firefighter fatalities from preventable cardiovascular conditions. For more information about the program, contact Dr. Keshia Pollack at 410-502-6272.
AFGP grants fund firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects, and staffing recruitment and retention. Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and fire service organizations have received approximately $62 million through the AFGP.