House Votes Overwhelmingly to Save AFG, SAFER Programs

May 9, 2024
The bi-partisan measure that passed 393 to 13 now heads to the Senate for a crucial vote.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed bi-partisan legislation to save the SAFER and AFG programs. 

The measure that passed on a 393-13 vote Wednesday evening now heads to the Senate.

"We've cleared one hurdle. And, we have one to go," said Bill Webb, executive director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute.

It's essential for the Senate to pass the legislation to keep the two vital funding programs from ending on Sept. 30. 

"We need to keep the momentum going," Webb said, urging the members of the fire service to contact their Senators to lobby for their vote.

After their decision, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, D-CA, wrote in a statement: “More frequent and severe wildfires are among the many devastating impacts of the climate crisis. Wildfires threaten my home state of California and Americans across the nation throughout the year—regardless of season. In the face of fire, we rely on our nation’s firefighters, who risk their lives to protect communities and the environment. We must ensure that firefighters have the robust support and resources they need to be safe. The Fire Grants and Safety Act reauthorizes programs that will do just that. This is a common-sense bill and I look forward to seeing it enacted.”

Officials from various fire and EMS organizations recently penned a letter urging legislators to save the programs.

"Congress cannot allow the two largest forms of federal support to disappear. Without
these programs, our communities will be ill-prepared to respond to acts of terrorism, natural
disasters, and “routine” emergencies like house fires and medical emergencies," they wrote.

"Congress also faces an urgent need to reauthorize the USFA, the fire service’s primary
representative in the federal government and the lead federal agency for fire data collection,
public safety education, fire research, and fire service training..."

"The USFA’s reauthorization expired in September and would be
restored by the Fire Grants and Safety Act. We urge Congress to reauthorize the USFA and
provide it with an authorization level that ensures the agency will be prepared to fulfill its
mission and lead the fire service into the future."


About the Author

Susan Nicol | News Editor

Susan Nicol is the news editor for She is a life member and active with the Brunswick Volunteer Ambulance & Rescue Company, Oxford Fire Company and Brunswick Vol. Fire Co. Susie has been an EMT in Maryland since 1976. Susie is vice-president of the Frederick County Fire/Rescue Museum. She is on the executive committee of Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association. She also is part of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) Region II EMS Council. Susie is a board member of the American Trauma Society, Maryland Division. Prior to joining the Firehouse team, she was a staff writer for The Frederick News-Post, covering fire, law enforcement, court and legislative issues. 

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Firehouse, create an account today!