Congressman Peter King, Former Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Holds Joint Press Conference with Congressman Chris Collins
Representatives Chris Collins (NY-27) and Peter King (NY-02) released the following statements after holding a joint press conference urging an increase in first responder grant funding. The two Congressmen discussed a letter they signed and sent to the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee requesting additional funding for the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE) Grant Program and for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program.
“Our communities’ first responders bravely put their lives on the line on a daily basis to keep us out of harm’s way,” said Congressman Collins. “The SAFER and FIRE grant programs need to be expanded to provide the equipment and staff levels needed to allow our first responders to do their jobs and to keep our communities safe. I want to thank Congressman King for making the time to join me in this effort.”
“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, I am proud to be a leading advocate for funding the needs of our fire service,” said Congressman King. “The FIRE and SAFER grant programs are key to improving the readiness of our nation’s firefighters and emergency service workers. We must ensure that firefighters and first responders have the funding they need to continue protecting and serving our communities, and I am glad to partner with Congressman Collins in advocating for increased funding for these vital grant programs.”
“The funds available through this program are crucial for our department and others across our community. We take our responsibilities as first responders seriously, and having the right equipment to do the job makes all the difference. As everyone knows, funding is a challenge. I want to thank Congressman Collins and Congressman King for recognizing how important our job is and fighting to expand this program,” said Chief Elect Scott Wegst, Depew Fire Department.
Erie County Legislator Ted Morton and Depew Mayor Jesse Nikonowicz were also present at the event.
The FIRE Grant Program provides direct funding assistance to fire departments, nonaffiliated EMS, and State Fire Training Academies for equipment and training. It also supports projects to enhance the safety of firefighters and the public. The SAFER Grant Program provides direct funding to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations to increase the number of trained firefighters available. New York first responders and local fire stations have received nearly $400 million in direct funding since the inception of both grant programs.
The letter advocating for additional funding and signed by Congressmen Collins and King can be read here.