This is the third in a series of posts about the 40thanniversary of America Burning and the related article, "Work in Progress" in this month's NFPA Journal." While the National Commission on Fire Prevention Control was quite clear that fire prevention and suppression were primarily local responsibilities, they wanted the federal government to play a supportive role with technical and educational assistance, research and data systems, and “providing financial assistance when adequate fire protection lies beyond a community’s means. In recent years, Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFGs) provided local fire departments with funds for training, apparatus, equipment, firefighter health and safety, facility improvements. Staffing for Adequate Fire And Emergency Response (SAFER) grants help fire departments increase their complement of trained firefighters.
These grants have improved fire department readiness, but many needs remain. NFPA conducted three national surveys or needs assessments of local fire departments to compare local resources with NFPA and other requirements. Steady progress has been made, but many fire departments still do not have enough personal protective equipment for all firefighters. And many departments have personnel engaged in activities without formal training.How have these grants helped your fire department or your community? Listen to Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Service Institute as he shares some insights into the relationship of Congress to the fire service, and of course, funding.