DOT awards training grant to Maryland hazmat first responders

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Maryland’s police and firefighters will continue to be among the best-prepared in the country to deal with hazardous materials incidents, thanks to a federal grant of more than $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

“These funds will help local emergency responders become prepared to expertly handle hazmat emergencies and protect their communities,” says Cynthia Quarterman, PHMSA administrator, who made the announcement during a visit to a Baltimore County fire station in Lutherville, Md., where she joined Baltimore County Fire Chief John Hohman observing county and local firefighters in a hazardous materials response exercise.

Quarterman also presented the PHMSA Public Safety Award to the Baltimore County Fire Department in recognition of their outstanding hazardous materials emergency preparedness safety, training and community planning efforts. The grant to Maryland was awarded under the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grants Program. The congressionally authorized and appropriated grant program is designed to assure that states and local emergency responders are planning and training for emergency response to hazardous materials incidents.

The HMEP Grants Program also helps a large number of the nation’s roughly 4,000 local emergency planning committees prepare and carry out hazardous materials emergency response plans and conduct studies to better understand the risks of transporting hazardous materials through local communities. Since 1993, about 2.5 million first responders and others have received training assistance with HMEP grants.