New Year, Another Victory: Trump Signs Tenth Tester Bill Into Law

Senator’s Bipartisan Bill Signed Into Law Will Recruit, Train, and Equip Montana Firefighters

(Kalispell, Mont.)- U.S. Senator Jon Tester is kicking off the new year with another victory for Montana: President Donald Trump this week signed into law his tenth Tester-authored bill.

Trump on Wednesday night signed Tester’s Fire Grants Reauthorization Act into law. Tester cosponsored the legislation with Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Tester’s law reauthorizes two critical grant initiatives that expired on January 2, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant.

“Montana firefighters enter harm’s way to protect lives and property every day,” Tester said. “This law will make sure that these brave Montanans have the training and equipment they need to keep our communities safe. Working with John McCain to get this bill signed into law is exactly what happens when folks put politics aside and do what is best for the country.”

Firefighters are praising Tester for getting his bipartisan bill signed into law.

“The Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department was recently awarded a SAFER Grant which allows us to hire four new firefighters,” said Chief Jeff Miller of Butte Silver Bow Fire Department. “The addition of these firefighters will greatly enhance public safety. Senator Tester has always been a friend and advocate for public safety nationwide. The Senator has championed efforts to allocate funding and fought vigorously to keep this funding for public safety agencies in place.”

“I’d like to thank Senator Tester for his leadership in getting this reauthorization bill passed,” said Kevin D. Quinn, National Volunteer Fire Council Chair. “AFG and SAFER are critical in helping smaller volunteer and combination fire departments reach a baseline level of readiness. As a co-chair of the Fire Caucus and a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Tester’s active support for reauthorizing AFG and SAFER were significant in getting the reauthorization bill passed in the Senate.”

“The leadership of the nation’s fire and emergency service thanks the President and Congress for enacting this important legislation,” said Chief Thomas Jenkins, International Association of Fire Chiefs President and Chairman of the Board. “The USFA and AFG/SAFER grant programs directly help local fire departments serve their communities every day. Fire chiefs are especially appreciative of Senator Tester’s leadership in passing this legislation and his consistent support of our federal legislative and funding priorities.”

“On behalf of the nation’s 310,000 professional fire fighters and emergency medical responders, I wish to express our sincere gratitude to Senator Tester for his concerted efforts to reauthorize the Assistance to Firefighters and SAFER grant programs. This important legislation assures fire departments may continue to advance public safety through improvements in staffing, training, and equipment, and will result in more effective emergency responses nationwide,” said Harold A. Schaitberger, International Association of Fire Fighters General President.

AFG grants provide rural fire departments with the resources they need to properly train and equip firefighters for emergency situations.

SAFER grants provide funding directly to professional and volunteer fire departments to help increase and maintain the number of trained firefighters in rural communities.

Tester recently secured AFG grants for fire departments in Red Lodge, Miles City & Bozeman and SAFER grants for fire departments in Helena and Big Sky.

Montana fire departments received more than $2 million over the past year in AFG and SAFER grants, including fire departments in Missoula, Butte-Silver Bow, Paradise Valley, Livingston, Deer Lodge, and Great Falls.

A list of Tester’s other bills that have been signed into law this Congress are available HERE.