DE Congressional Delegation Announces Funding for the DVFA

The Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association has received a $1.25-million SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) FEMA grant which is to help local fire departments hire, train and retain front line firefighters. Delaware’s Congressional Delegation adds that additional grants may be announced at a later date.

More from the news release from the Delaware Congressional Delegation:

“I am proud to support this funding to help bolster the ranks of our volunteer firefighters,” said Senator Carper, co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “They put their lives on the line for their community, and it’s important that we make investments to help them do their jobs safely and effectively. I was proud to support this grant, and additional funding for this program through the American Rescue Plan.”

“Last year, the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association celebrated 100 years of dedicated service to Delawareans, and grants like this ensure that their best days are still ahead of them,” said Senator Coons. “Just this month, I celebrated these brave men and women who volunteer to protect Delawareans at the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association’s Annual Conference, and there is no organization I trust more to implement this recruitment grant than the DVFA. The DVFA is just one of many organizations that depend on SAFER grants and similar funding to keep our volunteer fire companies’ life-saving operations running effectively. As the delegation’s only member of the Appropriations Committee, I’ll make sure that they and other organizations across Delaware continue to have a seat at the table.”

“The Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association has long been an organization made up of courageous first responders always ready and willing to serve their communities selflessly,” said Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “Today’s grant announcement to assist with the recruitment and retainment of firefighters is a testament to the DVFA’s steadfast commitment to our state. I’m proud to have worked alongside Senators Carper and Coons to secure this funding for the DVFA as well as additional funding for firefighters through the historic American Rescue Plan to keep our communities safe and strong.”

The Delaware congressional delegation has ensured that funding SAFER Grants and Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) – which are used for equipment, emergency vehicles, and other resources – remains a priority in Congress. Congress appropriated $360 million nationwide to each program this year, and President Biden’s budget request for 2023 asks for a $10 million increase to each program. The American Rescue Plan, which passed in 2021 with only Democratic support, also provided an additional $100 million for AFG and $200 million for SAFER grants as fire departments in Delaware and across the country struggled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Coons requested full funding for these programs for fiscal year 2022 and will do the same for fiscal year 2023.