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President’s FY 2011 budget request reduces AFG and SAFER funding

NVFC is a non-profit association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS and rescue services
The President's budget request proposes funding allocations for all federal departments
The President's budget request proposes funding allocations for all federal departments, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through which the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, and other programs vital to the emergency services are funded.

For FY 2011, the President is proposing $305 million each for AFG and SAFER, a reduction from the appropriated levels of $390 million and $420 million respectively in FY 2010. The President's FY 2010 budget recommended $170 million for AFG and $420 million for SAFER. AFG and SAFER are competitive grant programs that provide direct funding to fire departments and certain EMS agencies to pay for equipment, training, apparatus, and staffing. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) strongly supports full funding of AFG and SAFER, which are both authorized to receive one billion dollars annually.

The President is also requesting $45.93 million in funding for the United States Fire Administration (USFA), a slight increase from the FY 2010 appropriation ($45.59 million) and the FY 2010 requested amount ($44.98 million). USFA provides training and education for emergency services personnel and the public. USFA also performs research and collects data specific to the fire service and fire service activities.

"The President's budget request is the first step in the appropriations process"

This year, the President's budget does not contain a specific funding request for Citizen Corps, a program that brings together government and community leaders to involve citizens in all-hazards emergency preparedness and resilience. The Fire Corps program, which is administered by the NVFC and is a partner program under Citizen Corps, helps local fire and EMS agencies build capacity by connecting them to community volunteers who can assist in a variety of non-emergency roles. Last year, the President requested $15 million for Citizen Corps and Congress eventually appropriated $13 million. Under the President's FY 2011 budget request, Citizen Corps would be eligible to receive funding through DHS' State Homeland Security Grant program, which would receive $1.05 billion.

"The President's budget request is the first step in the appropriations process," said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. "As we do every year, the NVFC will work closely with our allies on Capitol Hill to ensure that crucial programs that fund emergency services activities receive adequate funding."

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