On September 19, Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced legislation to preserve the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs. The Fire Grants and Safety Act (S. 4882) also would authorize funding for the U.S. Fire Administration to conduct its programs. Senator Peters and Senator Portman are the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over these programs.
S. 4882 would:
- Authorize $95 million for the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) from Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 through FY 2030. This increase would allow USFA to replace the National Fire Data Center and examine the cause of origin of major fires and make recommendations to prevent future fires.
- Remove the September 30, 2024, sunset date, which otherwise would have terminated the AFG and SAFER grant programs.
- Extend the authorization for the AFG and SAFER programs until FY 2030.
The IAFC supports this legislation. “I would like to thank Senator Peters and Senator Portman for introducing this important legislation. The AFG and SAFER grants provide federal matching funds directly to local fire and EMS departments to help them provide lifesaving service their communities. In addition, the U.S. Fire Administration is an important federal partner for local fire departments for data, training, and fire prevention,” said Chief Donna Black, EFO, CFO, the President and Chair of the Board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. “I look forward to working with them to pass this important legislation this year.”
The IAFC encourages its U.S. members are to contact their Senators and ask them to cosponsor and pass the Fire Grants and Safety Act (S. 4882). You easily can send a message to your Senators through our Legislative Action Center.