Officials Tout Importance of USFA Re-Authorization

U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell told legislators that the agency has much more work to do to support the nation's firefighters.

The assistant to the general president of the IAFF, Kevin O'Connor, said the USFA needs to be re-authorized and fully funded to accomplish a myriad of missions it has undertaken.

He went on to say Congress should consider re-naming the USFA to reflect all those entities it tackles.

"The USFA of the 21st century must reflect the all-hazards role and mission of the 21st century fire service.

While USFA must continue to integrate all-hazards training and preparedness into its programs and policies, it must also work to change the perception that it is solely focused on fire. The unfortunate reality is that USFA's all-hazards role is not widely recognized. For example, organizations and policymakers have long bemoaned the lack of a "home" in the federal government for EMS, and have advocated the creation of a new entity modeled on USFA but devoted to EMS issues -- a proposal which we believe to be duplicative and counterproductive."