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U.S. House of Representatives Votes to Save FIRE and SAFER Grants

House Approval Sends S. 870 To U.S. Senate

McLean, Va. – After months of uncertainty, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to pass the Fire Grants and Safety Act (S. 870). It will now move on to the U.S. Senate for final passage.

This bill prevents the termination of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG; commonly known as the “FIRE Grant”) and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs. It also authorizes congressional funding for future analytical programs at the U.S. Fire Administration.

Specifically, the bill’s sponsors seek:

  • The authorization of $750 million in funding for the AFG and SAFER grant programs from FY 2024 through FY 2028.
  • A delay of the sunset date for both programs to September 30, 2030.
  • The authorization of $95 million in federal funding for the USFA, specifically to aid in the development of the National Emergency Response Information System; to develop EMS programs at USFA; and to fund an effort to examine the cause of major fires and report on best practices to prevent them in the future.

S. 870 also includes provisions to promote the development of nuclear energy in the United States.

“This is a momentous occasion,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler, President and Board Chair of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. “I would like to personally thank the Congressional Fire Services Caucus leadership for their persistence in passing this vital legislation. To Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr., Mike Bost, Steny Hoyer, and Brian Fitzpatrick, Representative Tom Kean, Jr., the sponsor of the House companion bill, Representatives Frank Lucas and Zoe Lofgren, the chairman and the ranking member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee: thank you for standing up and supporting our nation’s fire service. This bill will protect critical sources of funding and training for local fire and EMS departments.”

The Senate must now consider and pass S. 870. The bill passed the full Senate on April 20, 2023, but was then amended in the House. So, it needs to be passed again in the Senate. The IAFC looks forward to working with our supporters in the Senate to ensure final passage of this important legislation.

Ken LaSala is the IAFC’s Director of Government Relations & Policy.

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 incidents, 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.


Pete Piringer | IAFC Public Information Officer
240-672-4871 | ppiringer@iafc.org

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