Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding [January 5, 2015]   [open pdf - 325KB]

"The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, also known as fire grants or the FIRE Act grant program, was established by Title XVII of the FY2001 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 106-398). Currently administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the program provides federal grants directly to local fire departments and unaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations to help address a variety of equipment, training, and other firefighter-related and EMS needs. A related program is the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters (SAFER) program, which provides grants for hiring, recruiting, and retaining firefighters. […] The Administration's FY2015 budget proposed $670 million for firefighter assistance, including $335 million for AFG and $335 million for SAFER. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees recommended $680 million for firefighter assistance in FY2015, including $340 million for AFG and $340 million for SAFER. The Consolidated and Further Continuing Resolution Act, 2015 (P.L. 113-235) funds AFG and SAFER at the FY2014 levels (minus a 0.0554% across-the-board reduction) through February 27, 2015. The 114th Congress will consider FY2015, FY2016, and FY2017 budget appropriations for AFG and SAFER. As is the case with many federal programs, concerns over the federal budget deficit could impact budget levels for AFG and SAFER. At the same time, firefighter assistance budgets will likely receive heightened scrutiny from the fire community, given the local budgetary cutbacks that many fire departments are facing."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32341
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