Urges Congress to Continue Funding SAFER and FIRE Act Grant Programs
BOSTON — Consumer advocate and U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren today praised the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighters Grant Act (AFG, or the FIRE Act) grant programs that help fire departments afford personnel, equipment, and training.
"All across Massachusetts, local fire departments represent the first line of defense in emergencies and disasters," Warren said. "Firefighters work tirelessly and courageously to keep our towns and cities safe. We need to make sure that departments have the tools they need to do their job."
SAFER grants are awarded to local fire departments to help them afford an increased number of front-line firefighters. The grants are intended to guarantee that departments are able to meet industry staffing standards. FIRE Act grants are used to assist local departments in paying for training, equipment, and other necessary activities.
"Elizabeth Warren’s support for the SAFER and FIRE Act Grant Programs shows she stands with Massachusetts firefighters," said Dave Keene, President of Lowell Firefighters - IAFF Local 853. "She will fight to protect public safety jobs and ensure fire departments across the state have the resources we need to serve our communities."
"These grant programs help ensure that fire departments don't lose out on critical resources as a result of budget crunches" said Warren. "Firefighters deserve to know that their jobs aren't being slashed, and families deserve to know that their safety remains in good hands."
Senator Scott Brown has twice voted against proposals intended to support and preserve jobs for firefighters. Brown voted against the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act of 2011 as well as the American Jobs Act. Both bills would have allocated $5 billion to preserve the jobs of firefighters and other first responders and would have protected firefighters’ jobs here in Massachusetts.