Tester Announces Resources for Firefighters in Big Sky & Red Lodge

Announcement Comes Less Than a Week After Tester Successfully Passed Bill to Reauthorize Grant Programs

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – Less than a week after the Senate unanimously passed his bipartisan bill to help rural communities hire more firefighters, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is announcing more than $750,000 to help fire departments in Red Lodge and Big Sky keep their communities safe.

“Montana’s firefighters serve on the frontlines every day,”
Tester said. “We must make sure they have the training, equipment, and resources they need to respond to emergencies quickly and effectively, so they can continue to save lives, protect property and keep our families and communities safe.”

The awards were allocated as follows: 

  • Big Sky Fire Department – $564,783
  • Red Lodge Rural Fire District #7 – $195,905

The funding for the Big Sky Fire Department comes from FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, which provides funding to professional and volunteer fire departments across America to ensure there are a sufficient number of well-trained firefighters to protect rural communities.

The funding for Red Lodge Rural Fire District #7 comes from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, which provides rural fire departments with the resources they need to properly train first responders and ensure firefighters are appropriately equipped for emergency situations.

Tester’s bill, which was cosponsored by Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), reauthorizes the SAFER Grant Program and the AFG Program, both of which are set to expire in January 2018. The bill now heads to the House for approval.

Last year, Montana fire departments received more than $2 million through the SAFER and AFG Programs, including fire departments in Missoula, Paradise Valley, Livingston, Deer Lodge, and Great Falls.