Defense bill would reauthorize Fire Administration for 5 years
The U.S. Fire Administration would be authorized at a rate of $76.49 million annually for 5 years and Federal Emergency Management Agency firefighter grants at the inflation-adjusted rate of $750 million annually under the House and Senate conference version of the fiscal 2013 national defense authorization act unveiled Dec. 18.
Congressional authorization for the administration expired at the end of fiscal 2012; reauthorization language, which is Title 18 of the defense bill, was added in the Senate.
The bill, which is scheduled for a House vote Dec. 20, would set a cap on individual Assistance to Firefighter Grants ranging from $1 million to $9 million, depending on the size of the jurisdiction applying for the grants. Jurisdictions covering more than a million residents would have a 15 percent matching requirement under the bill, while those with more than 20,000 to a million would have a 10 percent match requirement and those with 20,000 or fewer would have a 5 percent requirement.
The Assistance grants are used for training, vehicle and equipment procurement and other immediate needs.
The bill also authorizes a maximum amount of $1.5 million for Fire Prevention and Safety Grants with a 5 percent match requirement, both amounts regardless of jurisdiction size. FEMA can grant economic hardship waivers to the matching requirements of either grant type.
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