NVFC Urges Congress to Restore Funding for Key Fire Service Programs
February 29, 2016
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is urging Congress to restore funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), and the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.
On February 25 the NVFC sent a letter to House and Senate appropriators requesting that they restore funding for AFG and SAFER to $405 million, the level provided in FY 2011. Both programs were funded at $345 million last year and the President has requested $335 million for each in FY 2017.
In that same letter, the NVFC asked that Congress provide $45.7 million for the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), which would represent a $1.7 million increase over the level provided in FY 2016 and restore funding to the FY 2011 level. The President has proposed cutting USFA to $40.7 million this year.
On February 22 the NVFC sent a letter to House and Senate appropriators asking that they restore funding for VFA to $16 million. VFA was funded at $13 million last year and the President has asked Congress to provide the same amount this year. Direct assistance to volunteer fire departments to prepare to fight wildland fire has been reduced from $23 million in FY 2010.