Tester Delivers Firefighting Grant to Boost Columbia Falls Rural Firefighters

$20,581 Grant Will Help Equip Firefighters

(U.S. Senate) – Firefighters in Columbia Falls are getting a big boost, thanks to U.S. Senator Jon Tester.

Tester delivered a $20,581 grant to the Blankenship Rural Fire District to help with recruiting and training new firefighters.

“Firefighters put their lives on the line for us every day,” Tester said. “This grant will help Columbia Falls firefighters be prepared to protect our communities and keep our families safe.”

Tester secured the grant through the Department of Homeland Security’s competitive Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, which Tester recently reauthorized along with the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program in a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by former Senator John McCain.

As Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Tester secured an additional $10 million for AFG and SAFER grants in this year’s annual budget bill and was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation who voted to pass this bill and fund these programs.

Tester’s SAFER and AFG grants have yielded big results for communities across Montana, including nearly $1 million to hire six additional firefighters in Belgrade and $800,000 to train and equip firefighters in Helena.