Gopal, Houghtaling and Downey Urge Volunteer Fire Departments to Apply for Federal Assistance Program

04/09/18 | News

Senator Vin Gopal, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey encourage all local volunteer fire departments to take advantage of The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response [SAFER] federal assistance program.

SAFER will provide $345 million in total grants for local fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations around the country. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the NFPA (NFPA 1710 and/or NFPA 1720).

This year’s grant program includes more available funding under the category of Hiring of Firefighter Activity for specialized training of first responders to properly recognize and intervene in emergency cases involving persons with mental illness.

Having responded to hundreds of 911 calls when I served as an EMT, I understand first hand how vital it is that our volunteer fire departments have the resources, equipment and manpower they need to effectively serve the community,” said Senator Vin Gopal.

“The SAFER grant program is an incredible opportunity for local volunteer fire departments to secure the funding they need to protect their communities without impacting property taxes. We must make sure our volunteer firefighters are properly supported. I encourage our local volunteer fire departments to take advantage of this federal program,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling.

“The brave men and women who serve our communities as volunteer firefighters deserve all the support they can get. They run towards danger when the rest of us run away and perform vital tasks that are essential to the safety of our communities. I thank each of our volunteer firefighters for their service and sacrifice in protecting their neighbors,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey.

The SAFER grant program is run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The FY2017 SAFER grant application period ends Friday, April 27 at 5 p.m. To apply for the SAFER grant program, log on to