Senate Passes AFG, SAFER, and USFA Reauthorization
May 2, 2023
On April 20, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the Fire Grants and Safety Act (S. 870) by a vote of 95-2. This important legislation would reauthorize the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, and United States Fire Administration (USFA) through FY 2030. It also would extend the sunset date for AFG and SAFER through FY 2032 and increase the authorization of the USFA by almost $20 million.
Ahead of the bill’s Senate passage, National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) chair Steve Hirsch appeared on Newsmax Media’s “American Agenda” to raise awareness of its importance. During his interview, Hirsch emphasized the importance of SAFER funds to increase firefighter staffing levels. He also explained that many departments around the country operate on small budgets of $5,000 to $10,000 and with one set of turnout gear costing $3,000, these departments would struggle without assistance from AFG.
The NVFC thanks all of our members who used our legislative action alert to contact their Senators to request support for this bill. It would not have passed the Senate without your support. The NVFC also thanks Senators Peters, Collins, Murkowski, and Carper for their leadership on this legislation. We look forward to working with the House of Representatives to send this important legislation to the President’s desk. In the meantime, we encourage NVFC members to contact their Member of Congress to educate them about the importance of SAFER, AFG, and USFA.