Chief Jim Critchley of the Tucson 9AZ) Fire Department and president of the Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA) testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation. In his testimony, Critchley, representing the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and WFCA, supported the authorization of adequate funding for the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) through 2017.
Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ) and Ranking Member Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) presided over the hearing whose topic was Working for a Fire Safe America: Examining United States Fire Administration Priorities. The authorization for USFA expires on September 30, 2012, and Congress has to reauthorize long-term funding levels for the agency.
“[USFA’s] FY 2011 budget of only $45 million is not a large federal spending program,” said Critchley. “However, the agency plays an effective role in the inherently governmental function of protecting the American public.”
The IAFC’s message was to urge the House Committee to introduce legislation to authorize $76.49 million for the USFA through FY 2017, similar to current legislation that has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. Critchley stressed the unique role the USFA plays in national policy, training, research and large-scale response.