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TO THE PRESIDENT’S DESK: Senator Hassan Applauds Senate Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Support NH Fire Departments

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, a senior member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, applauded Senate passage of a bipartisan bill to extend federal grant programs for local fire departments. The bipartisan Fire Grants and Safety Act would reauthorize the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, and the United States Fire Administration (USFA). The programs are set to expire this year and are used by fire departments in New Hampshire and across the country to address staffing needs, purchase equipment, develop fire training and education programs, and improve emergency medical services. Senator Hassan helped advance the bill through the Senate Homeland Security Committee last year, the bill passed the House on a bipartisan basis last month, and it now goes to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

“Fire fighters across the Granite State work every day to keep their communities safe, and these federal grants are crucial to ensuring that they have the latest equipment and training that they need,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan legislation ensures that fire fighters will be able to access these lifesaving grant programs – and the equipment and training they make possible – for years to come, and I look forward to seeing it signed into law.”

Fire departments use these federal programs to recruit and retain additional personnel, as well as buy up-to-date vehicles and equipment such as breathing air compressors, hoses, nozzles, and more. Fire stations also use the programs to fund safety training and technical rescue training, as well as health screenings for firefighters. The Fire Grants and Safety Act reauthorizes SAFER, AFG, and the USFA until 2028.

Senator Hassan has led efforts to support New Hampshire fire fighters. She helped advance the bipartisan bill to extend these grant programs through the Senate Homeland Security Committee and the Senate. Senator Hassan has helped ensure that New Hampshire fire departments benefit from this program; for instance, Senator Hassan helped secure a grant to Errol Fire Department to obtain a tanker vehicle and a grant to the Berlin Fire Department in 2022 to replace its fire engine that had been in service since 1979. Since 2015, New Hampshire fire departments, state fire training academies, and emergency medical service organizations have received more than $28 million in funding from AFG grants and more than $15 million in funding from SAFER grants.