Tag: Fire Service Caucus

Congressman Mike Bost Selected to Co-Chair the Congressional Fire Services Caucus

The leadership of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus has selected Congressman Mike Bost (IL-12) to serve as a co-chair.  Congressman Bost assumes the position following the retirement of former-Congressman David Reichert at the end of the 115th Congress.  

Currently serving his third term in the House, Congressman Bost previously served for two decades in the Illinois House of Representatives.  The Congressman also served as a firefighter for the Murphysboro (IL) Fire Department. He graduated from the University of Illinois’ Certified Firefighter II Academy in 1993 and continued to serve the Murphysboro Fire Department during his six terms as state representative.  The Congressman also served in the United States Marine Corps from 1979 to 1982.

“As a former firefighter, I know firsthand the dedication our first responders show to the communities they serve,” said Congressman Bost. “I’m honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with my firefighter brothers and sisters who put their lives on the line for their communities. I’m humbled by this opportunity to be a leading voice for them in Congress through the Fire Services Caucus.”

“We welcome Congressman Bost to the leadership of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus and thank him for his willingness to serve,“ said Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute.  “As a firefighter, the Congressman will bring an important perspective to the Fire Caucus. I applaud the decision of the Fire Caucus leadership in selecting the Congressman to join their ranks. I have no doubt he will continue the tradition of strong, bipartisan leadership that has made the Fire Caucus so successful.”

The Congressional Fire Services Caucus leadership is composed of eight members – four each from the Senate and House.  Maintaining the bipartisan spirit of the Caucus, leadership is split evenly between party lines with four Democrats and four Republicans.  The other co-chairs include Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD-5), Congressman Peter King (NY-3), Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9), Senator Tom Carper (DE), Senator Susan Collins (ME), Senator Jon Tester (MT), Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK).

The Fire Caucus is among the largest caucuses in Congress.  Members join to learn more about our nation’s fire and emergency services and the federal government’s role in addressing the needs of our nation’s fire and emergency services.  A list of current members is located on CFSI’s website.  If your member is not on the list, please have them contact CFSI and learn the value in becoming a member.

Senator Tom Carper to Chair Congressional Fire Services Caucus

The Congressional Fire Services Institute is pleased to announce that Senator Tom Carper of Delaware will serve as the chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus for the 116th Congress. First elected to the Senate in 2001 after having previously served five terms in the House of Representatives and two terms as Governor, Senator Carper has been a tireless advocate for the nation’s fire and emergency services. Throughout his career in public service, he has advanced many initiatives to address the needs of the fire service.

“Senator Carper has been a strong advocate for firefighters in his home state of Delaware and across the entire nation. His leadership and commitment to public safety have made a difference on so many issues, enabling legislation to move through the Senate that has had a direct benefit on our nation’s fire and emergency services,” said Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute. “CFSI looks forward to working with him on recruiting new members to the Fire Caucus and educating his colleagues on the needs of the fire service and the federal programs that benefit our nation’s first responders.”

Formed in 1987, the Congressional Fire Services Caucus was established to educate members of Congress about the fire and emergency services. The Fire Caucus was created to be a bipartisan group where Republicans and Democrats could work together to improve the readiness of local first responders and to jointly recognize their valor and dedication. Today, the Fire Caucus is among the largest and most respected caucuses in Congress. A current list of Fire Caucus members can be found on CFSI’s website.

The Congressional Fire Services Caucus – Recruit Your Members of Congress Today!

One of the fire services’ best assets on Capitol Hill is the Congressional Fire Services Caucus.  First formed in 1987, the Fire Caucus was established to educate members of Congress about the fire and emergency services. A bipartisan group, the Fire Caucus works together to improve the readiness of local first responders and to jointly recognize their valor and dedication.

Today, the Fire Caucus is among the largest in Congress. It is not about ideology, but rather recognizing and supporting our nation’s first responders. It unites members of Congress to raise the level of awareness on Capitol Hill about the critical mission first responders perform to protect local communities. The Fire Caucus helps members understand how certain pieces of legislation can advance the readiness and response capabilities of our nation’s first responders to all hazards.

Ten years ago, 284 members of Congress served in the Congressional Fire Services Caucus; at the start of the 116th Congress, the number has decreased to 204.  We need to reverse the trend. The 116th Congress introduced approximately 100 new members in the House and Senate. Many of them have not been exposed to the federal programs that benefit the nation’s fire and emergency services.  By becoming members of the Fire Caucus, members of Congress can enhance their knowledge of the fire services and the federal programs and legislation that benefit our first responders.

It is imperative that every member of the nation’s fire service reach out to their members of Congress and urge them to not only join the Fire Caucus, but to become active members.  There are several critical issues Congress will be considering in 2019 that benefit public safety. You can help us advance these issues by becoming engaged with your members of Congress and educating them about these issues.

Please visit our website to see if your members of Congress are currently serving on the Congressional Fire Services Caucus.  It also includes resources you can use to recruit your members.  

Citizen engagement is a bedrock principle of our republic.  It is essential that the fire service engage their members of Congress at the grassroots level.  Every member of Congress has a firehouse in their district. Every member of Congress has firefighters who vote in their district.  If the fire service is willing to make itself heard, it can continue to be a powerful force on Capitol Hill in the years to come.

Senator Lisa Murkowski Selected as Co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus

The leadership of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus has selected Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) to serve as a co-chair.  Senator Murkowski assumes the position following the recent passing of Senator John McCain (AZ), a founding co-chair of the Fire Caucus.  

Since joining the Senate in 2002, Senator Murkowski has been a tireless advocate for the nation’s fire and emergency services.  Throughout her career, she has supported the Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs.  She fought for the reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and was the lead co-sponsor of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act.    

“From my earliest days in the Senate I have built strong relationships with Alaska Fire Chiefs and firefighters – professional, volunteer and wildland. On a national level, I have led on many issues of importance to the fire service. I am proud to accept the invitation to Co-Chair the congressional Fire Services Caucus- a vacancy that was left open after my good friend, Senator John McCain, recently passed. Senator McCain set a high bar, but I am committed to building upon his good work to create a safer future for our firefighters and the communities they risk their lives to protect.”

“Without fail, Senator Murkowski has stood with the nation’s fire service on so many of our issues,“ said Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute.  “Her level of dedication and commitment to America’s firefighters makes her the logical choice to succeed the late-Senator John McCain as a Fire Caucus Co-Chair. I applaud the decision of the leadership of the Fire Caucus in selecting the Senator to join their ranks.  I have no doubt she will continue the tradition of strong, bipartisan leadership that has made the Fire Caucus so successful.”

The Congressional Fire Services Caucus leadership is composed of eight members – four each from the Senate and House.  Maintaining the bipartisan spirit of the Caucus, leadership is split evenly between party lines with four Democrats and four Republicans.  The other co-chairs include Senator Susan Collins (ME), Senator Tom Carper (DE), Senator Jon Tester (MT), Congressman Peter King (NY-3), Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD-5), Congressman David Reichert (WA-8), and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9).

The Fire Caucus is among the largest caucuses in Congress with nearly 240 members.  Members join to learn more about our nation’s fire and emergency services and the federal government’s role in addressing the needs of our nation’s fire and emergency services.  A list of current members is located on CFSI’s website.  If your member is not on the list, please have them contact CFSI and learn the value in becoming a member.  

 

Congressional Fire Services Caucus Conducts 5th Annual Flag Presentation with National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

(October 5, 2018) – On Thursday, October 4th, the leadership of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus presented 103 American flags to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.  The flags, which had been flown over the United States Capitol Building at the request of the Fire Caucus, will be presented to the survivors of the firefighters being honored at the 37th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday, October 7th in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  

Senator Jon Tester (MT), a co-chair of the Fire Caucus, presided over the official transfer of the flags to Chief Dennis Compton, the chair of National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Board of Directors.  Senator Tester was joined by the Senate Chaplain, Admiral Barry Black, as well as senior staff from the office of Senator Susan Collins (ME), the current chair of the Fire Caucus. Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute and Vice-Chair of the NFFF Board, served as the Master of Ceremonies.  

103 firefighters will be honored at the Memorial Service, 80 who died in the line-of-duty in 2017, and 23 from previous years.  17 of the firefighters being honored died as a result of 9/11-related illness.

Details about the 37th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, including how to view, can be found on the NFFF website.  

Senate Passes Resolution Declaring September “Campus Fire Safety Month”

(October 5, 2018) – On September 28th, the Senate unanimously approved S. Res. 663, a resolution declaring September 2018 as “Campus Fire Safety Month.”  The resolution was sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (ME), the chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus.  

Res. 662 encourages institutions of higher education to provide educational programs about fire safety to all college students, evaluate the level of fire safety being provided in both on-campus and off-campus student housing, and ensure fire-safe living environments through education, installation of fire suppression and detection systems, and the enforcement of fire and building codes.

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 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.  

 

Congress Reauthorizes Firefighter Grant Programs, U.S. Fire Administration

(December 21, 2017) – On December 21st, the Senate approved by unanimous consent H.R. 4661, the United States Fire Administration, AFG, and SAFER Program Reauthorization Act. The House approved H.R. 4661 by unanimous voice vote on Monday, December 18th.

The bill reauthorizes the Assistance to Firefighters (AFG), Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), and the Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grant programs, as well as the U.S. Fire Administration through September 30, 2023. It contains many of the key recommendations the fire organizations presented to Congress earlier in the year that were incorporated into S.829, the Senate bill to reauthorize the two grant programs that was sponsored by Senators John McCain (AZ) and Jon Tester (MT). The bill also contains a “sunset” provision that would eliminate the grant programs, but the sunset would not take effect until September 30, 2024 unless Congress renews the programs before the deadline date.

“For more than a year, the national fire services organizations have worked together to preserve the Assistance to Firefighters, Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, and the Fire Prevention and Safety grant programs. The collective efforts of so many individuals and fire organizations made this outcome possible. CFSI takes great pride in playing an integral role in this process,” said Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute.

H.R. 4661 will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.

Senator John McCain Named 2017 CFSI Legislator of The Year Award

(December 21, 2017) – The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) has named Senator John McCain (AZ) the 2017 Legislator of the Year.  An original co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, Senator McCain has been a long-time advocate for the national fire and emergency services on Capitol Hill.

“For 30 years, Senator McCain has stood by the side of the American fire service, offering his leadership and support on a variety of issues,” said Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute.  “We are grateful for all he has done for our nation’s first responders and it is an honor to recognize him during the 30th anniversary of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus.”