DHS Removes Some Restrictions on SAFER Grant Program for Fire Agencies
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 | Comments

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf announced changes to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant program that he said would allow more firefighting organizations to take advantage of the grants.

FY 2019 SAFER Grants will no longer be subject to certain cost share, salary cap, supplanting and minimum budget restrictions. Economically impacted fire departments can apply for and receive SAFER funding for FY 2019 through May 27. The changes will be extended into FY 2020.

“Firefighting organizations represent our hometown heroes, risking their lives to keep our communities safe,” said Wolf. “While bravely answering the call during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these departments are seeing increased personnel costs. Through our decisive actions on SAFER Grants, DHS is continuing its commitment to support our local partners during this difficult time and making sure they have the resources they need to carry out their critical missions.”

The SAFER Grant program is a partnership among DHS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local fire organizations and is crucial in helping fire departments in recruitment and retention. Firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) have been indispensable in the fight against COVID-19 and have been part of the backbone of local responses to the pandemic.

Wolf visited the Fort Worth (Texas) Fire Department Training Academy with Rep. Kay Granger, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis last week.

“The Fort Worth Fire Department plays a critical role in the health and safety of our community and has been on the frontlines of our fight against COVID-19,” said Price. “The SAFER Grant has ensured our first responders have the resources necessary to best protect and serve all of Fort Worth.”

“Firefighters are asked to problem solve every emergent issue of national importance,” said Davis. “With the economic impact of COVID-19, it is imperative to maintain fire department staffing to continue to solve the next need in our communities. I personally appreciate the commitment of Acting Secretary Wolf to the Fort Worth Fire Department with this announcement.”

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