Tester Secures Nearly $2 Million for Missoula Rural Fire District

Tester led charge to reauthorize critical grant programs for Montana firefighters

U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced a $1,887,740 Department of Homeland Security grant to the Missoula Rural Fire District that will help the district hire 10 new firefighters.

“Montanans know that fires are burning hotter and longer each year, and our fire districts need the manpower to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Tester. “This investment is going to do some real good in Missoula, and I’m going to keep fighting for critical resources that will help protect the lives and property of folks across our state.”

These funds are allocated through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, which helps improve local fire departments’ staffing and deployment capabilities. The goal of the program is to reduce department response times and increase the number of trained professionals responding to fire emergencies and other hazards in rural America.

Tester has been a steadfast champion for Montana firefighters. In 2018, his bipartisan Fire Grants Reauthorization Act, cosponsored by Republican Senator John McCain and which reauthorized the SAFER grant program and the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program, was signed into law. As Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Tester secured $700 million for AFG and SAFER grants last year last year-a $10 million increase over 2017.

Tester was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation who voted to fund AFG and SAFER programs.