Increase in rural fire protection program funding urged
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is seeking to have 1997 funding for the Rural Community Fire Protection Program restored to the 1975 appropriation of $3.4 million instead of maintained at the 1996 level of $2 million. “This is not the time to cut back on this program in light of recent fires in New Mexico, California, and Arizona,” says the NVFC. “Furthermore,” the NVFC points out, “federal firefighting agencies have recently adopted a new policy that envisions a significantly reduced role for their firefighting forces in the area where wildlands and developed lands meet.”
The House Agriculture Appropriations and the Senate Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies Appropriations subcommittees will recommend the funding level for 1997. Fire service members are urged to write members of these subcommittees to request additional funding. Subcommittees` members names and phone numbers may be obtained from the NVFC office at 1-888-ASK-NVFC.