Michigan senator and IAFF members push for reauthorization of AFG and SAFER grants

May 17 • 2023

Sen. Peters visits Grand Rapids fire fighters who have benefited from SAFER and AFG grants.

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters stopped by Grand Rapids, MI Local 366’s central fire station to promote the Fire Grants and Safety Act (S. 870), which reauthorizes through FY2030 the U.S. Fire Administration, the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program, and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program. 

Peters is the chief sponsor of the bill, which has now passed the Senate and is in the House for consideration. 

“This bill is one that I want to see through to final passage,” said Peters. “The minimum we can do is make sure you have all the equipment to carry out your mission.” 

The Grand Rapids Fire Department has received $8.2 million from the grant programs since 2012. 

“We appreciate Sen. Peters’ ongoing support for these grants. It was an honor to welcome him into our fire station so that we could show him how Local 366 members and the citizens of Grand Rapids have benefited,” said Local 366 President Joe Dubay.   

Eight of the current class of recruits and two more in an upcoming class are being hired thanks to the SAFER grant. These new hires will bring the department closer to becoming NFPA 1710 compliant. 

Additionally, the AFG program has allowed the department to replace its vehicle extrication equipment, air packs, carbon dioxide sensors, rescue harnesses, and fitness equipment. The grant dollars also helped the department and Local 366 launch its effort to provide and install free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in homes throughout the community. 

“Local 366 President Dubay, along with grant writer and Local 366 member Ryan Sparks, have done a great job working with the city administration to secure these grants,” said 8th District Vice President Mark Sanders. “Thanks to this successful labor/management collaboration, Local 366 members have the fire fighters and equipment they need to better serve the people of Grand Rapids.”