Washington, D.C. - The Senate today passed legislation cosponsored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Tom Carper (D-DE) that would reauthorize the highly successful Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs though Fiscal Year 2023. The Fire Grants Reauthorization Act would ensure that our nation’s more than one million fire and emergency services personnel continue to have access to the necessary training, equipment and staffing as first responder missions increase. The legislation now moves to the House of Representatives.
“I have long supported the FIRE and SAFER grant programs, which have been an effective and efficient way to provide firefighters and first responders with the resources they need,” said Senator Collins the Chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “The equipment, vehicles, and training funded by these grant programs strengthen our fire services and help protect the more than 1.3 million firefighters and emergency responders. I am pleased that the Senate has unanimously passed our bill to reauthorize these critical programs and ensure that these brave men and women continue to receive the support they need.”
The primary goal of AFG is protect communities and firefighters from fire-related hazards by providing eligible fire departments the financial support to train, equip and properly resource America’s emergency personnel. The SAFER program provides funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help increase and maintain the number of trained firefighters in local communities.
Language was added to the legislation in committee that will strengthen oversight and monitoring of the fire grants to minimize the risk of waste, fraud and abuse, and create training programs to assist fire departments in properly managing the grant awards.