Firefighting, Leadership

FIRE Grant Program Reauthorized

On December 13th, the House and Senate approved a reauthorization of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The reauthorization was included in the FY 2002 Defense Authorization Bill (S 1438). In September, Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut successfully attached a two-year extension of the program to the Senate version of this bill. In addition to the extension, the authorized funding level was increased to $600 million for FY 2002, $800 million for FY 2003 and $1 billion for FY 2004. The program was previously authorized at $100 million for FY 2001 and $300 million for FY 2002.
When members of House and Senate met to work out the differences between the two versions of the bills, Congressman Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania began working to further increase the authorized funding levels. Through the work of Weldon, other Fire Caucus leaders and the national fire service organizations, the authorized funding level was increased to $900 million per year through FY 2004.