Legislative Victory! AFG and SAFER Reauthorization Passes

In a victory for the fire and emergency services, the Senate passed the Fire Grants and Safety Act (S. 870). This bill reauthorizes the Assistance for Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs as well as provides funding for the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). The bill now goes to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

AFG and SAFER grants provide funding to fire and emergency service organizations to help them secure needed equipment, training, and resources, as well as hire paid firefighters and recruit and retain volunteer firefighters. The authorizations for AFG, SAFER, and USFA were set to expire on September 30 if Congress did not take action. The Senate originally passed S. 870 in April 2023, and the House passed an amended version of the bill in May 2024. The Senate then passed the amended version on June 18.

“AFG, SAFER, and USFA provide critical funding, training, and support for our nation’s fire and emergency services, and reauthorization of these programs was a top priority for the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC),” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “We thank Congress for recognizing the urgent need for reauthorization and taking the necessary action to ensure we don’t lose these vital programs. We also thank all of our members who used our Action Alerts to contact their Senators and Representative to inform them of how important it was to their department and community to pass this legislation.”

President Biden has expressed support for S. 870, and the NVFC has sent a letter in support of his signing the legislation into law. Once he signs this bill, the authorizations for AFG, SAFER, and USFA will be extended to September 30, 2028. View the text of S. 870 here.