Van Hollen Announces Strong Endorsements from Fire Fighters Across Maryland

KENSINGTON, MD – This morning, Senator Van Hollen’s re-election campaign announced the endorsements of the Professional Firefighters of Maryland and the National Capital Federal Fire Fighters IAFF Local F-121, crediting his unwavering support of Maryland’s firefighters. In endorsing the Senator for another term in the United States Senate, both organizations pointed to his proven leadership on issues that affect the daily lives of their members and hard-working Maryland families. In the Senate, Chris Van Hollen has pushed to better the lives of firefighters by working to increase funding for programs that play a critical role in preparing, training, and equipping our firefighters and expanding the numbers serving on front lines. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Chris fought for increased funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program which supports first responders in securing critical equipment, training, and resources necessary for protecting firefighters when they put themselves at risk to save lives in our communities. In addition to fighting for on-the-job resources, Chris has fought for much-needed benefits for our firefighters, from health care and disability benefits, to ensuring federal firefighters are able to trade shifts without losing out on pay or annual leave. Senator Van Hollen said, “Firefighters in Maryland and across the country put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities – running into harm’s way to save others. It is an honor to have the support of more than ten thousand Maryland firefighters and emergency personnel. Our firefighters have our backs – and I’m committed to having theirs. Together, we will continue working to advance our shared priorities that are vital to both our firefighters and our communities at large – including affordable health care, collective bargaining rights, mental health coverage, and benefits for working families in our state.” Professional Firefighters of Maryland, President, Jeffrey Buddle said, “Your commitment to expanding the rights of working men and women is unmatched, especially those on the front lines like the members of the Professional Fire Fighters of Maryland. You have been an effective leader in the Senate delivering funding for essential grant programs that support the health and safety of our firefighters with advanced training, updated equipment, and more resources for firehouses. Whether it’s a matter of federal funding or a legislative priority, you never back down when it comes to fighting in Congress for fire fighters. Fire fighters put themselves at risk every day, and we thank you for having our backs as we serve communities throughout Maryland.” National Capital Federal Fire Fighters IAFF Local F-121, President, Scott “Scotty” Alan Burkhardt Jr. noted, “In March of 2021, as a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus you stated: ‘Our federal firefighters work tirelessly to help keep our communities safe – often working long and non-traditional hours. When something comes up, they deserve the ability to trade shifts without losing out on pay or annual leave,’ You then re-introduced the Federal Firefighter Flexibility and Fairness Act (S. 838), which ensured that federal firefighters who trade shifts across multiple pay periods would not see their regular pay decrease or trigger overtime pay requirements. This bill alleviated stresses on our Federal Firefighters and saved the Government significant money in saved overtime payments. On the side of every Federal Fire Truck staffed by IAFF Local F-121 members is our Mission Statement: ‘Protecting Those Who Defend America’. You take our Mission Statement to heart every day you have our backs in Congress, and for that – we are forever grateful!”   ###