Barletta Reminder of Application Period for Federal Firefighter Grants
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) reminds firefighters of the opportunity for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program for Fiscal Year 2017. The application period will remain open until 5:00 PM (Eastern) on February 2, 2018.
“Our fire departments and emergency responders are the first line of defense in our communities when disaster strikes,” Barletta said. “I remain proud to support funding for our local fire departments. We must do everything we can to help keep our friends and loved ones safe.”
The primary goal of the AFG Program is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, the AFG Program has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources necessary to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.
Barletta has been a longtime supporter of the AFG Program, having made repeated requests to House Appropriations Committee leaders for continued support and funding. He has worked to provide hard-earned benefits for first responders, particularly those who directly suffered the effects of September 11, 2001. In addition, Barletta successfully led the fight to protect volunteer fire and emergency companies from the ravages of Obamacare, which could have caused many stations to close their doors because of financial burdens associated with the employer mandate provision.
Under pressure from Barletta, the Internal Revenue Service changed its rule governing the employer mandate, and specifically exempted volunteer firefighters from Obamacare, though Barletta continues to pursue legislation to formalize it in federal law. For his efforts, Barletta was named 2014 Legislator of the Year by the National Volunteer Fire Council. When embarking on one of his Main Street Tours throughout the 11th District, Barletta usually begins his visit with a stop at the local fire house.
For more information on the AFG Program, please visit https://www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program. Additionally, interested organizations may contact Mike Shay at Rep. Barletta’s Hazleton office at (570) 751-0050 or by email at Michael.Shay@mail.house.gov.