Homeland Security Announces First $13.3 Million Of More Than $750 Million In Grants To Fire Departments

Washington, DC – Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, announced today the first 219 grants of what will ultimately total approximately 7,000 grants worth $750 million in direct assistance to firefighters from the 2003 Assistance to Firefighter Grant program. The first round of grants totaled $13.3 million to help local fire departments purchase firefighting equipment, fund firefighter health and safety programs, enhance emergency medical services programs, and conduct fire prevention and safety programs.

“The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is a great example of how Homeland Security is putting key resources directly into neighborhoods and communities to better secure the homeland,” said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), will distribute $750 million to fire departments across the country as part of the FY 2003 allocation to the grant program. Fire departments receiving the awards represent a cross section of the nation’s fire service, including those from urban, suburban and rural areas as well as those made up of paid and volunteer firefighters and those that are a combination of both.

“Providing these funds to the local fire departments is key to President Bush’s commitment to support the men and women who protect our communities,” said Brown.

FEMA and the USFA expect to announce grants weekly, and will obligate more than 7,000 grants as part of this year’s funding by September 2004. The total of all awards, when completed, will represent a $750 million investment to enhance fire and EMS service delivery nationwide.

For more information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, visit www.usfa.fema.gov. Each week’s recipients, including those announced in this first round, will be made available each Friday morning.

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