The Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported on the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act that was enacted in 2003 in response to concerns about the adequacy of firefighter staffing. SAFER is administered by FEMA and is up for reauthorization.
The SAFER Act authorizes grants to career, volunteer, and combination local fire departments for the purpose of increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry-minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. Also authorized are grants to volunteer fire departments for activities related to the recruitment and retention of volunteers.
With the economic downturn and local fire departments' budgetary problems, Congress is considering easing restrictions to enable more participation in the program.

Hawaii received its first SAFER grant of $1.6 million in FY2008.

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program, RL33375 (pdf, 13pp/176kB), from Open CRS, April 30, 2010

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