President Joe Biden signs the Fire Act.

Biden signs Fire Act, sending millions to local departments

The bill reauthorizes the AFG and SAFER grant programs, critical lifelines that help fund fire fighter staffing, training, and equipment in the United States.

July 10 • 2024

President Joe Biden signed the Fire Grants and Safety Act this week, reauthorizing millions of dollars in grants for fire departments across the United States.

Biden reiterated his view of the crucial role fire fighters play in communities big and small. “The only thing that saves fire fighters is more fire fighters,” he said in an Oval Office signing. Through nearly $700 million in annual funding, departments rely on Assistance for Firefighters (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants to hire and retain fire fighters, buy modern equipment, and provide training to keep members safe.

The bill reauthorizes AFG and SAFER through fiscal year 2028 and extends the sunset for the programs to September 2030.

“To be sure, AFG and SAFER grants have saved the lives of people in every state, including the lives of fire fighters,” said General President Edward Kelly. “These are critical funding sources that ensure our communities are protected by properly staffed, appropriately equipped fire departments.”

“We are grateful to President Biden for his leadership and dedication to the fire service,” said Kelly, “and to Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Tom Carper (D-DE) and Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Thomas Kean (R-NJ) for their efforts getting this bill across the finish line and to the President’s desk.”

To learn more about the IAFF’s work to reauthorize AFG/SAFER grants – and to see other ways our Union is fighting for its members on Capitol Hill – click here.