WASHINGTON, D.C. – Each year, fire departments around the country are able to purchase needed firefighting equipment, conduct training and recruit new members thanks to federal grant programs. Now that funding is in jeopardy, according to Senator Charles E. Schumer.
On Wednesday, the New York Democrat told members of the press that funding for the Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs is slated to be reduced by approximately 17 percent. The proposed cuts are included in the House’s 2012 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. Both grant programs are administered by the Department of Homeland Security.
Schumer, who helped author the bi-partisan 2001 bill which created the AFG grant program, has pledged to see the funding restored.
“Firefighters are our first line of defense in an emergency, but just as we count on firefighters to help protect us, they count on us to provide them with the funding they need to hire new firefighters, buy equipment, and provide the best possible training,” the senator said Wednesday.