Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. is providing nearly $320,000 in grants to approximately 40 emergency response and safety organizations throughout its central Maryland service area. BGE held a press conference today at the Pikesville Volunteer Fire Company, where it officially presented the grants to representatives from the emergency response and service organizations. The organizations are using the BGE grant monies to fund equipment, programs or services that are critical to the safety of communities in which BGE serves.

“BGE naturally has a strong appreciation for the critically important role volunteer emergency response and safety organizations play throughout the state of Maryland and BGE’s service area, in particular,” said Kenneth W. DeFontes Jr., BGE president and chief executive officer. “Through this new and innovative grant program, BGE has a unique opportunity to strengthen our collective ties with our volunteer emergency responder colleagues. Teamed with career emergency responders, these organizations and their highly trained and dedicated personnel are second to none in ensuring the safety of Marylanders, and BGE is pleased to be a part of this effort.”

In late 2012, BGE launched a new grant program designed specifically for emergency response and safety organizations. Eligible 501c3 organizations that provide emergency services support – either preparedness or response and recovery – had the opportunity to apply for a single grant of up to $10,000. Multiple grant opportunities were available and grants were considered for new and existing programs that fell within the grant description guidelines, as well as requests for funding that clearly demonstrated improvement in response efforts to the urgent and immediate needs of the community.

“BGE has a long-standing commitment to enhancing the communities in which we live and work, whether it’s through philanthropic giving or employee volunteer opportunities, and this new grant program represents yet another means for extending that commitment to our customers,” said DeFontes. “Importantly, this grant provides BGE with an opportunity to give back to our emergency response partners, be it in the nonprofit sector or at the local or state level, who day-in and day-out, are poised to respond in our times of need.”

In 2012, BGE employees logged nearly 800 volunteer hours with safety and emergency response organizations, including volunteer fire companies, EMS organizations and the American Red Cross. BGE also offers complimentary electric and natural gas safety training to emergency responders through its utility training department.

Since its founding nearly 200 years ago, BGE has played an integral role in working with Maryland communities to address economic development, public safety, civic issues and other initiatives that help enhance our neighborhoods. Through the use of shareholder dollars, BGE supports programs that deliver measurable and sustainable impact in areas of energy efficiency and assistance, education, the environment, economic and community development, emergency response and safety.

BGE’s corporate citizenship aligns with that of its parent company, Exelon Corporation. As part of Exelon’s merger in March 2012, Exelon and its subsidiaries have committed to maintain charitable giving of an average of $7 million per year in Maryland, including BGE’s service area, for the next 10 years.