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On the bright side, I believe that grants programs have helped fire departments and EMS systems to respond to cataclysmic events as well as daily events in their communities. We still have a long way to go, but at least we are heading in the right direction. Unfortunately, fire departments and EMS agencies should not expect too much help from the federal government in the future as Congress looks for ways to reduce the federal deficit. It will be interesting to see how things look on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.