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Ann Davison, CAE
Strategic Information Manager
703–273-9815 x329

Congress Reauthorizes Major Fire Programs

DOD Legislation Includes Grant Programs' and USFA Authorization, and More

December 21, 2012

The U.S. House and Senate passed major legislation to improve programs that support the fire and emergency services. This legislation is included in the conference report to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 (H.R. 4310).

Specifically, H.R. 4310 would:

  1. Reauthorize the FIRE and SAFER grant programs through FY 2017
  2. Reauthorize the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) through FY 2017
  3. Make reforms to the Public Safety Officers Benefits program
  4. Authorize the transfer of up to 7 excess aircraft from the U.S. Department of Defense to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for wildland fire fighting operations

Next, this legislation will be sent to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.

“This is a great day for the fire and emergency services,” said Chief Hank Clemmensen, the IAFC’s president and chairman of the board. “This legislation reassures Congressional support for the USFA and FIRE and SAFER grant programs. It also makes important reforms to the FIRE and SAFER grant programs, and the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits program. Finally, the bill begins the process of increasing the U.S. Forest Service’s aviation capabilities for wildland fire suppression operations. I would like to thank our supporters on Capitol Hill and the leadership of the other fire service organizations for working together to achieve these major accomplishments.”

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders.