1. #1
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    Exclamation Congress Passes FY 2008 DHS Appropriations Funding: Includes Increased Funding for FI

    Congress Passes FY 2008 DHS Appropriations Funding: Includes Increased Funding for FIRE and SAFER Grant Programs



    Fairfax, Va., Dec. 20, 2007... Last night, Congress passed the fiscal year (FY) 2008 omnibus appropriations bill. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law.

    The approximately $550 billion omnibus spending bill for the federal government—excluding funding for the Department of Defense that was passed before Thanksgiving—includes funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

    This legislation includes a number of successes for America’s fire service; it includes an increase of more than $75 million for the SAFER grant program, an increase of $13 million for the FIRE grant program, a $50 million increase for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grants, a $7.5 million increase for Urban Search and Rescue Teams and level funding for the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).

    The legislation also appropriates $2.8 billion to prevent and fight wildland fires, including $300 million emergency funding; it returns funding in FY 2008 to nearly $6 million for the Rural Fire Assistance program in the U.S. Department of the Interior and provides level funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Volunteer Fire Assistance program.

    “The IAFC is thankful for the commitment of Congress to meet the needs of America’s fire and emergency medical services,” said IAFC President Steven P. Westermann. “These are very positive numbers, especially considering the president’s intent to hold the line against spending,” added Chief Westermann.

    Below are some of the highlights of the legislation.

    1) DHS Funding: The bill includes the following funding levels:

    $ In Millions
    FY 2007 President’s FY 2008 Budget Req. FY 2008
    USFA 46.8 43.3 43.3
    FIRE Grant program 547.0 300.0 560.0
    SAFER Grant program 115.0 0.0 190.0
    UASI Grants 770.0 800.0 820.0
    SHSGP 525.0 250.0 950.0
    Emergency Management Performance Grants 200.0 200.0 300.0
    Urban Search and Rescue Teams 25.0 25.0 32.5
    Communication Grants 0.0 0.0 50.0


    The FY 2008 USFA funding does not include $3.5 million for the Noble Training Center in Anniston, Ala., which has been transferred to the Emergency Management Institute. The omnibus appropriations bill does include an extra $1 million to develop a web-based version of the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) to improve the timeliness and accuracy of NFIRS data and identify national trends in fire and emergency medical services.

    2) Wildland Fire Programs: The omnibus appropriations bill includes $2.8 billion to prevent and fight wildland fires, including $300 million in emergency funding. Specifically, the bill appropriates the following levels for the following programs:

    $ In Millions
    FY 2007 President’s FY 2008 Budget Req. FY 2008
    Rural Fire Assistance 0.0 0.0 5.9
    Volunteer Fire Assistance 13.8 17.0 13.8


    Overall, first responder grant programs will receive $4.1 billion in FY 2008, which is $1.8 billion above the president’s initial budget request and $693 million more than in FY 2007. Yet, this is still down from a high of $4.8 billion in FY 2004, even as homeland security preparedness costs continue to rise.
    Jeremy (bigj164019) - FireFighter-I/Paramedic
    Fraternal Order of Paramedics Society
    Member Firehouse.com I.A.C.O.J. EMS Bureau


    "Live for today, because yesterdays are over, and tomorrows may never come"!

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    Well, an increase is an increase. I think more should have been thrown into AFG than SAFER, after all 66% of the cost on hiring over the 5 years is local. A free third is still a free third, but more folks are having trouble meeting the matching so start working those R&R apps now since that side is 100% free money.

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    Communications grant?? interesting...

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    Probably a continuation of NTIA. $50mil ain't gonna buy much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    Probably a continuation of NTIA. $50mil ain't gonna buy much.
    Brian I think that may be "ramp up" money for the I.C.E. Program slated for 2009-2012.NTIA/PSIC was a one time shot only from what I have been told.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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