The Fire Grants and Safety Act: A Lifeline for AFG and SAFER Grants

firefighters extinguishing a fire in a wall

The Fire Grants and Safety Act: A Lifeline for AFG and SAFER Grants

If Congress fails to act, these fire grants may be gone forever, and firefighters nationwide will be affected.

As the Senate greenlights the Fire Grants and Safety Act (S.870), a crucial piece of legislation aimed at bolstering firefighting capabilities and enhancing fire safety measures nationwide, it’s important to recognize the critical juncture reached by the reauthorization of AFG and SAFER grants. The fight for the existence of these grants has reached a pivotal point, with the looming threat of the grants disappearing if Congress fails to act within the next few months.

AFG and SAFER: Cornerstones of Firefighter Support

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants stand as pillars of support for the nation’s fire service. Over the past two decades, these grants have been pivotal in providing much-needed federal funding for training, equipment, and recruitment. 

The Fire Grants and Safety Act: A Lifeline for AFG and SAFER Grants

With the authorization for AFG and SAFER grants expiring at the end of FY 2023 and facing a statutory sunset date of September 30, 2024, the urgency for congressional action cannot be overstated. Failure to act within the next few months will result in the cessation of these vital grants, leaving fire departments without crucial resources to fulfill their duties effectively. The challenges are compounded by 2024 being an election year, further slowing down legislative processes after July.

S.870 Fire Grants and Safety Act

Amidst these challenges, there are active reauthorization bills before Congress, including the Fire Grants and Safety Act (S.870) in the Senate. In May 2024, the House of Representatives passed S.870 with an overwhelming majority vote of 393 to 13, signaling bipartisan support for reauthorizing AFG and SAFER grants. However, procedural snags have delayed further progress on this bill, emphasizing the need for swift action.

The Safety and Fire Grants Act (S.870) is significant legislation that aims to improve community safety by providing extended support for fire departments, emergency services, and their personnel until FY2030. It focuses on equipping firefighters, enhancing safety measures, making grant funding more accessible, and mandating an audit for efficient resource allocation.

While the passage of S.870 in the House marks a critical milestone, its journey is far from over. Now, it is up to the Senate once more, and President Biden to swiftly pass this legislation into law, reaffirming our collective commitment to supporting those who selflessly serve our communities.

What Can You Do?

Contact your representative today and tell them to support the Fire Grants and Safety Act. Tell them YOUR vote depends on THEIR support!