Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced that the county has accepted a federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant that supports up to 70 new firefighter positions. The grant is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Anne Arundel County’s fiscal 2020 budget includes 50 new firefighter positions. The SAFER grant supports up to 70 new positions by contributing up to $8.5 million in federal funding over three years. If all of the new positions can be hired before the end of the fiscal year, the Pittman administration intends to introduce legislation to the County Council to authorize 20 additional firefighter positions to bring the fiscal 2020 budget total 70.

The announcement of the SAFER award comes shortly after the fire department graduated its 58th class of firefighter recruits. Recruit Class No. 58 included 30 members that will go to the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, nine members to the Annapolis Fire Department, and four members to the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport Fire and Rescue Department. Another recruit class with up to 70 members is planned for early 2020.