NVFC Seeks Additional Funding, Flexibility to Help Fire and EMS Departments

On April 30, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) joined with other major national fire service organizations in asking Congress to provide full funding, $750 million each, for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs in FY 2021. The letter also asks Congress to waive local matching funds requirements under AFG and SAFER and to increase flexibility for using SAFER funds to retain personnel in FY 2020, FY 2021, and for any supplemental AFG or SAFER appropriation.

On April 29, the NVFC separately asked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Chad Wolf, to provide those same waivers for the FY 2020 AFG and SAFER funding. The DHS Secretary has the statutory authority to provide such waivers under existing law.

“The budget environment for thousands of emergency services organizations across the nation is deteriorating, due to COVID-19 and related declines in tax and private fundraising revenues,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “Fire and EMS departments need help so that they can continue providing quality, life-saving services even as they grapple with these challenges.”

Click here for more information on the NVFC’s requests to Congress and the administration to help departments deal with challenges related to COVID-19 and social distancing. You can use the NVFC’s Legislative Action Center to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators to ask them to support these requests.