Recently passed Senate bill could fund UP fire departments
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Senator Gary Peters sponsored a bill that will renew grants and programs for firefighters which passed the senate Thursday afternoon.
The Fire Grants and Safety Act is set to reauthorize federal grants and programs for local fire departments. Two benefits of the bill are the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant and the Assistance to Firefighters Grant. Sen. Peters said these resources are vital to fund.
“These grants ensure that no matter where you live, you will know that fire departments in that community will have the tools necessary to potentially save your life,” Peters said.
Local fire departments like the one in Negaunee benefit heavily from this bill. Negaunee Fire Department Secretary Mason Tompkins said funding assistance is important for equipment.
“Just to outfit one firefighter with proper personal protective equipment or PPE, you’re looking at anywhere from $6000 to $6100. That’s including the boots, the bunker pants and the coat, the gloves and the hood,” Tompkins said.
Sen. Peters said he is confident the bill will pass in the House of Representatives.
“In the end, after we had this long debate and debated the amendments. It passed the Senate with 95 yes votes and only two no votes. I think that overwhelming bipartisan support bodes well for its chances in this House,” Peters said.
Tompkins said that support from the federal level is appreciated.
“Any municipality, including here in Negaunee, has to try to fit everything in a budget. Considering how expensive firefighting equipment is, it can prove difficult to try to continue to provide for a department on a year-to-year basis,” Tompkins said.
Since the bill passed the Senate, it will now head to the House. If approved, it will then be sent off to be signed by President Biden.
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