Pascrell Highlights Two-Year Record of Success for "Fire Act" Grants
Author of First-Ever Federal Grant Program for Nation's Firefighters
WASHINGTON - Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8th), a member of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security and the first Member of Congress to author comprehensive legislation creating a federal grant program for the nation's 32,000 paid and volunteer fire departments, today joined House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, other members of Congress, and Internaional Association of Firefighters President Harold Shaitberger in calling for additional dollars for our nation's homeland security needs.
Pascrell's Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement Act, or FIRE Bill, was signed into law in October of 2000. It has already delivered $460 million in grants to paid and volunteer firefighters over the past two years, and is set to send $750 million to fire departments across America in Fiscal Year 2003.
"Homeland security is about hometown security, and we believe more dollars need to be sent down to those first responders who are defending our homeland community by community," Pascrell said. "Our firefighters are ready, but they need far more resources for staffing, equipment, and training. This can't be done on the cheap, and it can't be done by budgetary shell games and gimmickry."
"We don't need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to funding firefighter needs, we just need to grease it with more money from Washington."