Press Releases

House Passes Fire Grants Legislation

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Washington, Nov 18, 2009 | HELEN MACHADO (202 225-1766) | comments

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34) voted to provide local firefighters with the tools and resources they need to prevent and fight fires, and keep our communities safe.  At a time when many towns and cities are facing budget shortfalls and cuts to basic services, the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act (HR 3791) invests in vital firefighter assistance programs that allow local fire departments to provide training, purchase equipment and vehicles, and hire personnel.

The legislation passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 395 to 31.

“This bill provides critical federal funding to assist our fire departments in purchasing equipment, fire trucks and hire additional firefighters,” Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard said.  “Amidst the current economic downturn, this federal support for our nation’s fire departments is even more important as our local leaders struggle to maintain services, including for public safety, with fewer resources.”

This bipartisan bill reauthorizes two popular, critically important firefighter assistance programs – the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program – for the next five years.  Since the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program was created in 2000, nearly $5 billion has gone directly to fire departments to purchase equipment, training, fire trucks and other resources.  Since the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program was created in 2004, nearly $700 million has gone to fire departments to help hire additional firefighters.   

The bill, which will now be forwarded to the U.S. Senate for consideration, has the support of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the National Volunteer Fire Council, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Congressional Fire Services Institute. 

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