Funding was successfully restored this week for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighter (AFG) grants. These grants provide vital funding to the nation’s first responders to help adequately staff firehouses and to provide the necessary specialized equipment to protect those that put themselves in harm’s way. The amendment, which was approved by the House during debate on the FY 2013 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, restores current levels of funding for both grants.
“The SAFER and AFG grants provide critical funding to help firefighters and EMS personnel purchase and maintain life-saving equipment. In my district these grants have enabled first responders to purchase everything from state-of-the-art cardiac monitors that are used on the scene of an accident, to fire suits and oxygen equipment for firefighters so that they never have to second guess the equipment they are using,” said Congressman Aaron Schock. “Many times small communities don’t have the local resources to provide the assistance first responders need and in many cases the firefighters, departments and districts that benefit from these grant programs are entirely volunteer. Whether it’s a house fire or a larger disaster response, it’s my goal to make sure our first responders have the resources to be as effective as possible and that starts with these grants so they can purchase the specialized equipment and hire the personnel necessary to get the job done.”
In a statement from the Peoria Firefighters Local 50 they praised the restoring of the funding for the two grant programs, “Peoria Firefighters Local 50 would like to thank Congressman Schock for his support and dedication to the SAFER funding and Fire Grant Act. We certainly understand how difficult these financial times are and we are truly grateful to Congressman Schock for remembering the Nation’s first responders. Firefighters and Police Officers should be a top priority as it relates to the safety and well being for the citizens of this country.”