House Appropriations Committee Advances Fiscal Year 2019 Funding Bill

(July 25, 2018) – On Wednesday, July 25th, the House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Act.  The funding bill provides $350 million each for the Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs.  This is the same amount as the programs are funded at in the current fiscal year.

The bill also funds the United States Fire Administration (USFA) at $44,993,000, the same amount as requested in the White House’s FY19 budget proposal and $596,000 over the current fiscal year.  This amount also includes $1.5 million for infrastructure improvements at USFA’s Emmitsburg, Maryland campus.

Additionally, the bill increases funding for the Urban Search and Rescue System (US&R) to $45,330,000.  The program is currently funded at $35,180,000. The White House requested only $27,513,000 for US&R in the Administration’s FY19 budget proposal.  

On June 21st, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved S. 3109, the Senate version of the Fiscal Year 2019 Homeland Security funding bill.  The House and Senate versions of the spending bill will now be considered by their respective chambers.  If approved, the appropriators will meet in conference to resolve any differences in the bills. The current fiscal year ends on September 31st.  CFSI will continue to provide updates throughout the appropriations process.

House Unanimously Approves Firefighter Cancer Registry Act

(June 22, 2018) – Earlier today, the House unanimously approved H.R. 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act.  The bipartisan legislation creates a specialized national registry to provide researchers and epidemiologists with the tools and resources needed to improve research collection activities related to the monitoring of cancer incidence among firefighters.

The House had previously passed the bill by voice vote on September 12, 2017.  However, on May 10th, the Senate amended the bill before approving it by unanimous consent.  

H.R. 931 was introduced by Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9).  Similar legislation, S. 382, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Robert Menendez (NJ) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK).

The bill will now be sent to the White House for President Trump’s signature.  

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2019 Homeland, Interior Spending Bills

(June 21, 2018) – On June 21st, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2019 Homeland Security spending bill.  The legislation appropriates $55.15 billion for programs and activities within the Department of Homeland Security.  The Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs are funded at $700 million, split evenly between the two programs.  This is the same amount Congress provided for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18).

The bill also provides $44 million for the United States Fire Administration (USFA), with an additional $1.5 million for infrastructure improvements at USFA’s Emmitsburg, MD campus. USFA received a total of $44.397 million in funding for FY18.  The Urban Search and Rescue System is funded at $35.180 million in the bill, the same level of funding as appropriated for the current fiscal year.  

The Senate committee also recommended funding the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) at $605 million (a reduction of $25 million from FY18) and $512 million for the State Homeland Security Grant Program (an increase of $5 million over FY18).  Both programs would receive significantly more funding than requested in the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal.  

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to take up its own version of the FY19 Homeland Security spending bill in the coming weeks.  

Additionally, on June 14th, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved S. 3073, the Fiscal Year 2019 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.  The bill provides $35.853 billion to fund the Department of the Interior, U.S. Forest Service, and other agencies.  The bill provides $16 million for the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program and $80 million for the State Fire Assistance program.  This is the same amount Congress appropriated for the current fiscal year. On June 6th, the House Appropriations Committee approved its own version of the bill, which includes the same funding levels.  

CFSI will continue to provide updates as the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations process moves forward, including a more comprehensive breakdown of the funding bills.    

(Updated on June 22, 2018; 10:30 a.m.)

Commemorating the Fire and Emergency Services

It’s never too early to think about the ideal Holiday gift for your family, friends and fellow firefighters, and we have the perfect gift in mind: the 2018 National Fire Service Christmas ornament. Capturing the Holiday Spirit and the proud heritage of our nation’s fire service, this beautiful keepsake is the ideal gift for any member or supporter of our nation’s fire and emergency services. Handcrafted using the highest quality materials, these ornaments are made right here in the USA!

The Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates Recognize National EMS Week

(May 17, 2018) – Sunday May 20, 2018 marks the beginning of National EMS Week and presents an opportunity to honor the men and women who deliver pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency medical care throughout the United States. This vital public safety service is provided primarily by cross-trained, multi-role emergency responders who are based in our nation’s fire departments.

The fire service has a rich history of protecting the health and safety of our communities through an emergency response model that includes the delivery of pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency medical care. Fire Service-Based EMS providers are trained, equipped and positioned to provide their communities with timely emergency medical care, and more recently, Integrated Community Health Care (ICHC) services as well. Firefighter/EMTs and paramedics respond quickly, professionally, skillfully, and compassionately in communities across the United States every day…24/7.

The Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates Coalition recognizes the life-saving contributions and achievements, as well as the dedication and commitment, of those who serve in Fire Service-Based EMS systems. National EMS Week is a time to pause and say “thank you” to the entire EMS Community, especially firefighter/EMTs and paramedics …our nation’s ‘all hazards’ response personnel.

Established in 2006, the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates Coalition, based in Washington, DC, provides members of Congress and other government officials with information they need to effectively support Fire Service-Based EMS systems throughout the nation. For more information about the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates and how to join the coalition, visit www.fireserviceems.com.

Originally posted by the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates (www.fireserviceems.com)

Senate Approves Firefighter Cancer Registry Act

(May 11, 2018) – On Thursday, May 10th, the Senate approved by unanimous consent H.R. 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act.  The bill, which was amended by the Senate prior to passage, was unanimously approved by the House on September 12, 2017.

The bipartisan legislation creates a specialized national registry to provide researchers and epidemiologists with the tools and resources needed to improve research collection activities related to the monitoring of cancer incidence among firefighters.

H.R. 931 was introduced by Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9).  Similar legislation, S. 382, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Robert Menendez (NJ) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK).  

The amended bill will now go back to the House for final passage.  

 

30th Annual CFSI Symposium and Dinner Program Brings Together Current and Future Leaders

Approximately 1,500 fire service officials from across the nation gathered together to engage their peers and federal leaders in discussions on a broad range of issues being addressed on Capitol Hill and by the Trump Administration. At the end of the two-day program, they assembled in the Washington Hilton ballroom to pay tribute to fire service leaders and organizations for their outstanding leadership in addressing the health and safety of our nation’s firefighters and emergency services personnel.