Tester Announces Funding for Statewide Firefighter Training Program

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester proudly announced today that Montana State University’s Fire Services Training School (FSTS) will receive $73,159 in funding through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) Program. This is the fourth Assistance to Firefighter Grant awarded to a Montana fire department this year.

“The Fire Services Training School works with first responders from across the state to ensure they are prepared when disaster strikes,” Tester said. “This money will help every Montana firefighter who is working to get recertified or advance in their career.”

FSTS provides education, training, and professional development to more than 6,000 first responders across the state each year. According to FSTS Director John Culbertson, this funding will help purchase new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA).

“These will help everyone taking courses at our Great Falls training facility,” Culberston said. “Our current SCBA’s are very old, but we couldn’t afford to replace them, so this funding is really tremendous.”

Tester has fought hard to increase funding for both the AFG and Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grant Programs. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester secured $680 million for the two initiatives in 2015 and an additional $10 million for the two programs in Fiscal Year 2016. Fire and Rescue Departments in Great Falls, Missoula, and Livingston have also received funding through the AFG Program this year.