AFG, SAFER, USFA Reauthorization Bill Passes Senate Committee

On September 28, 2022, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee favorably reported out of committee a bill to reauthorize the AFG and SAFER grant programs, as well as the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).

The Fire Grants and Safety Act (S. 4882), which is sponsored by Committee Chairman Gary Peters and Ranking Member Rob Portman would:

  • Reauthorize AFG, SAFER, and USFA through fiscal year (FY) 2030;
  • Increase the authorized funding level for USFA from the current level of $76.5 million to $95 million; and
  • Extend the sunset for AFG and SAFER to September 30, 2032.

Extending the authorization period for AFG, SAFER, and USFA for seven years is a big success for the fire and emergency services, as is the approximately 25% increase in the USFA authorization.

“We thank Chairman Peters and Ranking Member Portman for their work in expeditiously moving this bill through the committee,” said Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI). “CFSI looks forward to working with Senators Peters, Portman, and our strong supporters on the Congressional Fire Services Caucus to get this bill signed into law by the end of the year.”

Bill Reauthorizing AFG, SAFER, and the U.S. Fire Administration Introduced in the Senate

CFSI is pleased to report that Senators Peters and Portman have introduced a bill to reauthorize the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) programs, as well as the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).

Specifically, the Fire Grants and Safety Act (S.4882) would reauthorize AFG and SAFER through Fiscal Year (FY) 2030 — a 7-year reauthorization period. The bill would also repeal the sunset provisions for AFG and SAFER, which are scheduled to go into effect in September 2024, if not addressed, and increase the authorized funding level for USFA from the current amount of $76.5 million to $95 million for all seven years of the authorization period (through FY2030) — an almost 25% increase in the authorization. USFA provides critically important data, training, education and more for fire and EMS personnel, as well as for the general public.

“This legislation would ensure that local fire and emergency services departments have continued access to vital federal funds for the training, staffing and equipment they need to serve their communities. It would also provide critical funding for the United States Fire Administration to advance its mission,” said CFSI Executive Director Bill Webb. “We look forward to advocating in support of this measure and thank Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters and Ranking Member Rob Portman for their leadership in introducing this measure.”

CFSI Mourns the Loss of a Friend and Colleague

The CFSI Board of Directors and staff extend their sympathies to the family of Dave Finger, Chief of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for the National Volunteer Fire Council.  On June 3, Dave passed away at the age of 44 following a courageous battle against pancreatic cancer.

Before joining NVFC in 2005, Dave was the lead staff person on fire service issues for the House Science Subcommittee on Research and Technology. He was the consummate professional back then as he was during his career at NVFC.

We are all saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague.  His contributions to public safety will have a lasting positive impact on the entire fire and emergency services.

Rest in peace, Dave.