WASHINGTON – Connecticut Senators Joe Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal announced Friday that the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association will receive over $790,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) program, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grant will help increase the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters throughout Connecticut.
“Like many states, Connecticut relies on volunteer firefighters to ensure the safety of its citizens in times of emergency,” said Lieberman. “This grant will help local fire departments continue to recruit and retain brave and dedicated men and women to fight on the front lines of any disaster that may strike our state.”
Blumenthal said: “These vital resources will help our local fire departments progress toward round-the-clock staffing in order to better protect our communities,” said Blumenthal. “Recruiting and retaining capable volunteer firefighters is key to keeping our communities safe and well-prepared.”
Lieberman has a long history of advocating for fire safety. In 2000 and 2003, respectively, he was a cosponsor of the FIRE and SAFER Acts and on March 10, 2011, introduced the Fire Grant Reauthorization Act of 2011, legislation that reauthorizes the AFG and SAFER programs for five years. That bill was passed by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Lieberman, on May 18. Since the FIRE and SAFER Acts were signed into law, FEMA has distributed 648 grants for a total of over $72 million in Connecticut to help fire departments strengthen their response capabilities. Lieberman is also a Co-Chair of the Congressional Fire Caucus for the 112th Congress.
Blumenthal has fought to ensure the fair provision of survivor benefits to the spouses and families of police officers and firefighters who have been injured, or lost their lives, in the line of duty.