LANGHORNE, PA – Today, March 31, 2023, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) announced the Newport Fire Company No. 1 and the Fairless Hills Volunteer Fire Company have received grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist with recruitment, retention, and purchasing the necessary tools to respond to emergency calls.

The Newport Fire Company No. 1 and Fairless Hills Volunteer Fire Company were both each awarded $200,000 through the 2021 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. The mission of the SAFER grant program is to enhance the ability of recipients to attain and maintain 24-hour fire department staffing and to better assure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. This year, FEMA will be awarding $560 million to an estimated 500 eligible fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations throughout our nation.

“With the rapid decline of volunteer firefighters and the constant issue of volunteer retention throughout the Commonwealth, the SAFER Grant program has been a critical resource for our local communities to sustain their firefighter ranks,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “These grants are crucial for our emergency response throughout the region, which is why I am proud to support and be an advocate for our fire and first responder community.” 

The statute, 15 U.S.C. § 2229a, authorizes the SAFER Program to make competitive grants to fire departments and national, state, local, federally recognized tribal, and non-profit interest organizations representing the interests of volunteer firefighters. No less than 10 percent of the funding must be awarded to projects under the Recruitment and Retention (R&R) Activity, and 10 percent of the funding is set aside for awards to volunteer or mostly volunteer fire departments under the Hiring of Firefighters (Hiring) Activity.

FEMA is currently on Round 7 of the competitive FY 2021 SAFER award announcements.