IAFF LEGISLATIVE FACT SHEET
FUNDING FOR SAFER AND AFG
IAFF supports funding SAFER and AFG at $420 million each in Fiscal Year 2011.
To address the critical staffing shortages facing fire
departments across the nation, Congress enacted the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency
Response (SAFER) Fire Fighters Act in 2003. Under SAFER, fire
departments can apply for federal grants to help pay the costs associated with
hiring new personnel in order to maintain safe staffing levels. Since its
inception, the SAFER grant program has awarded nearly $500 million in grants,
helping to address fire fighter shortages in local departments in all fifty
states. The critical
importance of adequate fire department staffing has been well documented by
independent studies. Both the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the
consensus standards making body of the fire service, and the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA) promulgated standards for the minimum number of
fire fighters needed to respond safely and effectively to emergencies. An
estimated two-thirds of all jurisdictions do not currently meet these safe
SAFER's sister program, the
Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) was created to fund the critical
training, equipment and health and safety needs of the fire service. Since
2001, AFG has provided over four billion dollars to thousands of fire
departments across the nation, and has proved to be extremely effective for
those communities which have received such funding.
Unfortunately, the weak economy
is causing communities nationwide to reduce fire department staffing through
layoffs, attrition and other reductions in force. Downsizing among fire
departments results in longer response times and an increased threat to public
safety and local preparedness, placing communities and their citizens at risk.
The economy has also forced to delay critical training, equipment purchases, and
other crucial activities.
SAFER was funded at $420 million
in Fiscal Year 2010, while AFG was funded at $390 million. In his proposed
budget for Fiscal Year 2001, President Obama proposed funding each program at
Continued robust funding of
SAFER and AFG will help ensure that communities have the resources needed to
protect the public safety.
S. 3607, the Department of Homeland Security
Appropriations Act, 2011
Sponsor: Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
S. 3607 provides funding for the Department of Homeland Security for Fiscal
2011. Among its provisions, the bill provides $420 million for SAFER and
February 1, 2010,
the Administration released its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2011. The
proposal includes $305 million for SAFER and $305 million for AFG.
June 24, 2010, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security
approved the FY2011 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act,
including $420 million for SAFER and $420 million for AFG.
July 14, 2010, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security
approved S. 3607, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2011.
As approved, the bill provides $420 million for SAFER and $390 for AFG.
July 17, 2010, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved S. 3607.