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White House budget proposal cuts fire service programs

If adopted, the cuts will impact fire grant programs and the United States Fire Administration

WASHINGTON — On February 2, President Obama submitted the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget for the United States Government to Congress.

The President’s budget proposal would reduce funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant programs by $5 million each, to $335 million from $340 million.

The President is also requesting $41.6 million for the United State Fire Administration (USFA), which would represent a reduction of $2.4 million. AFG, SAFER, and USFA are all part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The President’s budget includes $13 million for the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program, which is funded through the U.S. Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture. VFA provides funding to the states to distribute to local volunteer fire departments to prepare for wildland fire response. VFA was funded at $13 million in FY 2015.

“The President’s budget request is the first step in the appropriations process,” said National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “The NVFC will work closely with Congress to ensure that adequate support is provided to critical fire and emergency services programs and agencies.”

The entire FY 2016 Budget for the United States Government can be downloaded at

Detailed budget estimates by agency can be accessed at