WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (Both D-VA) released the following statement ahead of the U.S. Senate’s first procedural vote on the Fire Grants and Safety Act, legislation to reauthorize grant programs for fire departments and firefighters, which is expected later today:
“Virginia’s fire departments play an essential role in supporting our communities and saving lives. We have a responsibility to make sure they have the resources they need to protect, recruit, and retain firefighters. For years, grant programs like those included in the Fire Grants and Safety Act have helped provide those resources. We look forward to voting for this legislation to make sure those grant programs continue, and will do everything else we can to support our brave firefighters and first responders.”
Specifically, the legislation would reauthorize the Assistance for Firefighters (AFG) and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs, both of which are set to expire in 2024. AFG grants are awarded to fire departments, state fire training academies, and emergency medical service organizations to help them meet the needs of their communities, by helping firefighters and first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.
So far in 2023, the following localities in Virginia received AFG awards to support their operations and safety upgrades:
- Isle of Wight County received $959,020
- The City of Alexandria received $600,000
- The City of Lynchburg received $830,636
- Franklin County received $438,238
- The Bland County Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. received $163,476
- The Scruggs Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Inc. received $66,666
For the full list of 253 AFG grants awarded to Virginia communities since 2015, click here.
SAFER grants provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained “front line” firefighters available in their communities.
So far in 2023, the following localities in Virginia received SAFER grants to assist with recruitment and retention efforts:
- The City of Manassas Park received $3,582,866
- Rappahannock County received $561,617
- Goochland County received $556,972
- The Town of Chatham received $204,804
- Hanover County received $41,800
- Stephens City Fire And Rescue Company, Inc. received $21,068
For the full list of 72 SAFER grants awarded to Virginia communities since 2015, click here.