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Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

Bill reauthorizing grant programs for local fire, rescue departments heads to President’s desk

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The Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs will be reauthorized through fiscal year 2023 under a bill that the U.S. Senate recently approved.

The Fire Grants Reauthorization Act would ensure that the nation’s fire and rescue services continue to receive federal grants that support training, equipment and staffing needs. The bill was introduced by U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tom Carper (D-DE),

“Firefighters risk their lives every day to protect our citizens and keep our communities safe,” McCain said. “That’s why we must give these brave individuals the training, resources and equipment they need for dangerous missions around the country. I’m proud the president will soon sign our bill providing America’s 30,000 fire departments and emergency response services with the best possible preparation and resources.”

AFG provides funding to train, equip and develop the nation’s emergency services personnel workforce. The SAFER program, meanwhile, directs funds directly to local fire departments to retain and recruit firefighters.

Provisions of the reauthorization bill approved by the Senate on Dec. 22 would add oversight and monitoring measures to help prevent waste, fraud and abuse. Additionally, training program would be established to help fire departments manage grants awards.