National petition drive urges full funding of FIRE Act

The Northeastern States Fire Consortium is backing an effort by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) to restore $1 billion in funding to the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (FIRE Act) program.

Sen. Schumer has been touring firehouses across New York State and meeting with Fire Chiefs to drum up support his goal is to restore full funding authorized by Congress to the FIRE Act program for 2007. He has launched a grassroots campaign, sending petitions to every fire department in the state, asking firefighters to join his call to restore funding.

The Northeastern States Fire Consortium is urging fire departments throughout the U.S. to join the petition drive, and has established a goal of 100 signatures for every fire department in the United States.

Schumer said that he would join with Senate colleagues later this year to support an amendment to the budget that would restore the entire $1 billion to the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (FIRE Act) program. Schumer and some of his colleagues are sending a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee asking for full funding of the program.

Because this is a program that puts life-saving equipment in the hands of first responders, mobilizing firefighters could be an effective way to show how critical these grants are to localities that need them, he added.

Thomas M. Kennedy of the Northeastern States Fire Consortium is urging consortium members to support Sen. Schumer’s effort to fund the FIRE Act. Kennedy called for the collection of 100 signatures from each Fire Department in the United States (Signatures can include family members and friends of the Fire Service).

Kennedy said signed petitions should be returned to Sen. Schumer’s office in Washington, D.C. (address is at bottom of petition) by September 11, 2006. In addition, Kennedy urges fire departments to fax copies of the signed petitions to their Senators and Congressional Representative, and to President Bush at 202-456-2461.

To access a downloadable copy of the petition, CLICK HERE.

“Every Fire Department that has received a grant, or applied and did not receive one because of the lack of funding, knows how important this program is to the Fire Service. Now is the time to show our support for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program,” Kennedy said.

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