NVFC testifies on behalf of USFA
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) testified before the House Subcommittee on Basic Research on March 18. The purpose of the hearing was to review the FY98 budget request for United States Fire Administration (USFA) and National Fire Academy (NFA) programs.
The USFA`s budget request is $28.7 million. Highlights include $2 million for a counterterrorism training and equipment program that began last year and a new arson prevention initiative. The FEMA counterterrorism program was authorized last year as part of an effort to combat terrorism in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.
The focus of NVFC New York State Director Ken Newton`s presentation was the positive effects the USFA and NFA have on America`s volunteer fire service. Cited were the week-long Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) courses and other training and education programs and cooperative agreements that provide the NVFC with the resources to support training and education programs for the volunteer fire service. The most recent agreement, Newton pointed out, made it possible for the Council to greatly improve the flow of information within the volunteer fire service about retention and recruitment problems and solutions.
The NVFC cited as another benefit the creating of a homepage on the World Wide Web through which volunteers can connect to the Internet resources–including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the USFA, and the NFA homepages–as well as the President`s National Arson Prevention Initiative.
The NVFC is asking fire service members to call or write their senators and representatives urging them to support the USFA and NFA budget request.