Some good news out of Capitol Hill. On May 5, President Trump signed legislation to fund federal government operations through FY 2017. The legislation generally provides level funding for the fire and emergency service. Highlights include:
- U.S. Fire Administration—$44 million (including $1.5 million for National Fire Academy improvements)
- FIRE grant program—$345 million (level funding)
- SAFER grant program—$345 million (level funding)
- Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) program—$38.28 million (small increase)
- State Homeland Security Grant Program—$467 million (level funding)
- Urban Areas Security Initiative—$605 million (small increase)
- The U.S. Forest Service’s Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA)—$15 million (slight increase)
- State Fire Assistance—$78 million (level funding)
There were increases to wildland fire funding too:
- USDA Wildland Fire Management—$2.833 billion
- DOI Wildland Fire Management—$942.7 million (as an offset FLAME Act funding was reduced)
Also, included for FY 2017 was authorization for the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to award funding for the ALERT grants. Congress created the ALERT grants in FY 2015 to provide hazardous materials training for volunteer or remote emergency responders. The IAFC was awarded $2.6 million in ALERT grant funds to develop a training program in coordination with the IAFF, NVFC and the other major fire service organizations.
President Trump is expected to release his FY 2018 budget proposal later this month with an expected $667 million cut to FEMA’s grant programs.
Note: This post was updated on May 8, 2017.