FAA Reauthorization Package Contains Fire Service Provisions

The Senate today sent a 5-year FAA reauthorization (H.R. 302) to the president’s desk which includes IAFC-supported provisions requiring the FAA to report on the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) by local fire departments.

UASs offer an opportunity for fire departments to improve operations on the fireground and for specialized missions like hazardous materials response and search and rescue missions. This provision should help Congress and the FAA to identify and remove obstacles fire departments face in using UASs. In addition, the legislation includes provisions to help communities better mitigate the risk of the many hazards that they face.

With this legislation, states that receive the FEMA Fire Management Assistance Grants will be able to receive hazard mitigation assistance. This hazard mitigation assistance will help communities to install erosion barriers, build flood barriers, and take other actions to prevent the floods and landslides that can occur after wildland fires. In addition, this legislation allows greater investments in predisaster mitigation and encourage the adoption of building codes and standards to protect communities.

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