Senators Collins, McCain, Tester, & Carper Reintroduce Bill to Reauthorize Fire & Emergency Response Grant Programs

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Tom Carper (D-DE) reintroduced the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act, bipartisan legislation 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. This legislation 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 to respond to a growing number of emergency response missions. Senator Collins is the Chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus.

“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 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. Our bill will reauthorize these critical programs to ensure that these brave men and women continue to receive the support they need.”

“Firefighters and first responders risk their lives every day to protect our citizens and keep our communities safe,” said Senator McCain. “That’s why we must give these brave individuals the training, resources and equipment they need to respond to dangerous missions around the country. I’m proud to once again cosponsor this legislation that would ensure America’s 30,000 fire departments and first responder services have the best possible preparation and resources, and I hope my colleagues will join this effort to support those who sacrifice so much for us.”

The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI), the Board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) also endorsed the legislation:

“The Congressional Fire Services Institute commends Senators John McCain, Jon Tester, Susan Collins and Tom Carper for introducing legislation to reauthorize the Assistance to Firefighters and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant programs,” said Dr. William Jenaway, president of CFSI. “These Senate Co-Chairs of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus understand the challenges facing our nation's fire service and the tremendous impact of both AFG and SAFER in addressing the needs of our nation's first responders. We thank them for their leadership and look forward to offering our full support to their efforts with this important piece of legislation.”

“The IAFC thanks Senators McCain, Tester, Collins, and Carper for introducing this important legislation to reauthorize the AFG and SAFER grant programs,” said Chief John Sinclair, president and chairman of the Board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. “Both of these programs help local fire and EMS departments protect their communities, and provide an important down payment on the national preparedness system.”

“I’d like to thank Senators McCain, Tester, Collins and Carper for introducing legislation to reauthorize the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs,” said National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chair Kevin D. Quinn. “AFG and SAFER are lifelines for thousands of volunteer fire departments across the country that severely lack resources. Passage of this bill is absolutely critical to the nation’s volunteer emergency services and will be the NVFC’s top legislative priority this year.”

The primary goal of AFG is to 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 organizations to help increase and maintain the number of trained firefighters in local communities.