|Slaughter says Firefighter Grants Bill Will Help Local Firefighters|
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28), Chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, today announced that the House approved a bill that would provide direct assistance to firefighters in Western New York so they can purchase equipment and vehicles, fund vital training and assist fire departments hire firefighting personnel.
“I’m so pleased Congress has reauthorized these vital grants because they will help our heroic firefighters in Western New York,” said Slaughter. “Last year fire companies in my district received more than $2.4 million from these programs. Reauthorizing these grant programs provides critical resources to local fire departments and renews our commitment to ensuring that communities across America have the equipment, training, and personnel that they count on during emergencies.”
The Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009 was approved today by the House by a vote of 395-31. It reauthorizes the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) program which enables local fire departments and emergency medical services organizations to purchase or receive training, conduct first responder health and safety programs, and buy equipment and response vehicles.
It also reauthorized the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program which assists fire departments hire firefighting personnel.
Together these grants provide invaluable financial assistance to local governments, particularly at a time when many local governments around the country have had to layoff firefighters because of the economic downturn.
Last year through these programs, Western New York fire companies in the 28th district received over $2.4 million. All fire companies will have the opportunity to apply for future grants once the bill is signed into law. Last year's award allocations are included below.
The Fire Grants Reauthorization Act has broad bipartisan support and has been endorsed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the National Volunteer Fire Council.