National Association of Counties Resolution
This is something I should have shared with you fellow firefighters in March of 2001. I was the Vice Chair of Emergency Management of the Justice and Public Safety Committee and happened to be in Washington DC a few days after the Presidents budget was released.
While attending the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference, I drew up this resolution and took it to the full committee of 110 people. Bringing in a resolution so late in the process, I had to have a 2/3rds majority vote in favor of this resolution.
To let you all know County Government IS behind you - it past at 100 % in favor of the resolution. (March 2001)
I just felt you should know that County Government does care - If the issue Is brought to their attention. I only wish the National Fire Associations would consider us a partner in the future. We can do So Much More, if we only work togerher.
I will let you go on and read the resolution.
American County Platform
2001 - 2002 Resolutions<br /> Justice and Public Safety
RESOLUTION SUPPORTING FULL FUNDING <br /> FOR THE FIRE FIGHTERS<br /> ASSISTANCE GRANT
Issue: Congress has the opportunity in the coming months to fund the FEMA Firefighter Assistance Grant program signed into law last fall.
Adopted policy: NACo urges Congress and the Bush Administration to fully fund this FEMA grant program at $300 million in FY2002.
These grants will be of enormous benefit to local fire departments, and the communities they serve. <br />NACo also encourages state, county, and municipal officials to contact their representatives in Congress to express their strong support for the grant program.
Background: On October 30, the FY2001 Defense authorization bill was signed into law. Attached to that legislation was an unprecedented firefighter assistance package.
Headlining the package was a grant program to be<br />administered by FEMA that would provide need-based grants directly to local fire departments. Never before in the nation’s history has the federal<br />government made such a commitment to local fire departments, which by all accounts are starved for funds.
The legislation authorized $100 million for the grant program in FY2001, and $300 million for FY2002. The full $100 million for FY2001 was<br />appropriated in last year’s final budget deal, and the application process for that money is expected to begin around May of this year.
President Bush’s preliminary FY2002 budget, released February 28, contains no funding for the grant program. Additionally, it states that such<br />funding is “unneeded” and “does not represent an appropriate responsibility of the Federal Government.” This same budget includes massive increases in federal spending for education.
America’s firefighters many of them volunteers, respond to terrorist events, and are increasingly involved in planning to respond to potential attacks by weapons of mass destruction. These terrorist events are traditionally considered to be situations of federal responsibility, yet the fire service is expected to engage in the response to their occurrence. At the same time, denied any federal assistance, firefighters are required to host pot-luck dinners and to stand on city streets asking for donations to pay for their equipment. The incongruity of this state of affairs is obvious.
Fiscal/Urban/Rural Impact: This program would benefit urban and rural counties with funding of $100 million the first year and up to $300 million in FY2002.
Adopted July 17, 2001
<br />I am now entering my sixth year in public office. Being an elected official is a lot like being a firefighter. <br /> (you don't know a whole lot when you join or are elected - then you train, learn and continue - so if you and I as citizens are not helping our electeds learn about the fire service - then who is)? <br /> Just something to ponder.
For the past 18 months I joined one of our Counties vfd's and saw first hand all that one goes through to serve as a firefighter.
I only recently resigned, as I feel that I could do a whole lot more for my 16 volunteer fire departments in the county I serve and also to all the other volly and career departments around our wonderful Country.
(so much for those wonderful adreanalin rushes and running code through town will be terribly missed.
I have been very fortunate to do ride alongs with other cities when traveling out of state - such as Fairfax County, Virginia, Savannagh, Georgia, Phoenix, Arizona, Washington, DC.
I learn something new from every department. Anyhow, with all that rambling - I will close. You all are wonderful people and if there is anything I can do to help eductate your local government - don't be afraid to ask. One never knows until they ask!
Karolin J. Loendorf<br />Lewis & Clark County Commissioner<br /> <img src="wink.gif" border="0">