Fairfax, Va. - The U.S. Senate Thursday night passed the United States Fire Administration, AFG, and SAFER Program Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4661). The House of Representatives passed the same bill Monday. As a result, the measure is on its way to the president’s desk, saving the FIRE and SAFER Grant programs from expiring on January 2 and pushing their sunset dates out to September 30, 2024.
The legislation will:
- Authorize $76.49 million in funding for the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) through Fiscal Year (FY) 2023..
- Authorize approximately $750 million each for the Assistance for Firefighters Grant (AFG, also known as the FIRE Grant) program and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant program through FY 2023.
- Move the sunset date for the AFG and SAFER Grant programs to September 30, 2024.
- Clarify that SAFER Grant funds can be used to change the status of part-time firefighters to full-time positions.
- Develop online training programs, through USFA, to help fire departments better manage AFG and SAFER Grants.
- Develop a framework and take measures at FEMA to prevent waste, fraud and abuse of AFG and SAFER Grant programs.
The IAFC thanks Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) for their leadership in passing H.R. 4661 in the Senate.
The IAFC also thanks Representatives Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Pete King (R-N.Y.), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) for their leadership in passing H.R. 4661 in the House of Representatives.
Chief Thomas Jenkins, IAFC president and chairman of the board, thanks all IAFC members who contacted their federal representatives to urge reauthorization of the FIRE/SAFER Grant programs.
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. Learn more