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IAFC President Testifies at Congressional Hearing

In Support of U.S. Fire Administration and Fire Grant Programs

McLean, Va. –Today, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) President and Board Chair, Chief Donna Black, testified before the Research & Technology Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology to support the reauthorization of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program, and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).

In her testimony, Black highlighted the importance of these programs in providing essential resources to fire departments and emergency responders across the country. She specifically requested that the AFG and SAFER programs be authorized through Fiscal Year (FY) 2030 and that the USFA be authorized through FY 2030 with an increased authorization of $95 million per year.

Black emphasized that these programs are successful in providing matching grants to local fire departments to meet their basic needs, but that many departments still struggle to provide personal protective equipment and training to their members. She also highlighted the importance of the Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants in funding research to identify and mitigate the increased prevalence of cancer in the fire service.

Black further requested that the sunset date for the AFG and SAFER programs be extended to September 30, 2032, to provide Congress with enough time to review and revise the programs before they face termination. “I thank the subcommittee for focusing on reauthorizing these programs. They provide important resources, but there still remains work to be done,” said Black “On behalf of the IAFC and its members, I look forward to working with the subcommittee to draft and pass legislation to reauthorize these critical programs.”

The IAFC represents more than 11,000 members who serve as fire chiefs, firefighters, and emergency responders across the country. The AFG and SAFER programs, as well as the USFA, play a significant role in supporting the nation’s emergency response system, and their reauthorization is critical to ensuring that fire departments have the resources they need to protect their communities.

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 response, 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 best practices and services available for first responders.

Rob Brown | IAFC CEO/Executive Director
540-379-3582 | rbrown@iafc.org

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