Peters Joins Firefighters & Local Officials in Saginaw, Highlights His Bipartisan Legislation to Extend Support for Local Fire Departments

SAGINAW, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, toured Saginaw Fire Station 1 today to discuss the need to pass his bipartisan legislation to extend federal grant programs that are set to expire. During the visit, Peters highlighted how the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) provide critical federal resources to Michigan’s fire departments, like Saginaw’s. At the fire station, Peters saw firsthand how these programs are used by local fire departments to address staffing needs, purchase equipment, acquire vehicles, develop fire training and education programs, and improve emergency medical services. Peters participated in a safety demonstration using equipment that was purchased with funding from the AFG program and discussed his legislation to ensure these important federal programs do not expire and leave local fire departments without the resources needed to protect Michigan communities and first responders.

During the visit, Peters was also joined by Saginaw Mayor Brenda Moore, Training and Safety Officer Brandon Hausbeck, who leads the Saginaw Fire Department’s Grant Team, and local fire department officials from Saginaw and Buena Vista.

“Firefighters put their health, their safety, and their lives on the line each and every day to protect our communities. They should be able to count on Congress to have their backs,” said Senator Peters. “That’s why I’m committed to passing my bipartisan legislation to extend these grant programs, and ensure fire stations in Michigan and across the country have what they need to continue doing their critical jobs safely and effectively.”

“I’m grateful to Senator Peters for joining us in Saginaw and for leading this bipartisan bill to extend federal grant programs that fire stations here in Michigan rely on to protect the health and safety of  firefighters,” said Saginaw Mayor Brenda Moore. “Today, we saw just how important federal resources are to helping these first responders save lives and fight fires. I am thankful to Senator Peters for his work and will continue advocating for passage of his Fire Grants and Safety Act.”

“Senator Peters’ leadership of the Fire Grants and Safety Act demonstrates that he understands the needs of local fire departments and is committed to supporting first responders. This important, bipartisan bill will extend critical federal programs that we rely on to ensure our firefighters can do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Brandon Hausbeck, Training and Safety Officer and Grants Manager for the Saginaw Fire Department. “I’d like to thank Senator Peters for continuing to lead efforts to protect first responders and we look forward to working with him in the future to make sure this important legislation is signed into law before these programs expire.”

During the visit, Peters toured the fire station to see how funding from the SAFER and AFG programs has allowed firefighters in the Saginaw area to do their jobs more effectively. Since 2004, the Saginaw Fire Department has received approximately $5.2 million from these federal grant programs to purchase new equipment such as new breathing apparatuses and vehicle extraction equipment. Last year, the department received $40,000 from the AFG program to train new fire inspectors – who play an important role in working with local businesses to ensure proper safety measures are in place to protect the public in the case of a fire emergency. Peters also met with representatives from the Buena Vista Fire Department and highlighted a more than $65,000 grant they received from the AFG program in 2021 to purchase new breathing apparatuses.  In 2021, Michigan fire departments received from more than $10.8 million from the AFG program, and more than $8 million from the SAFER grant program. The visit highlighted the need to pass Peters’ Fire Grants and Safety Act to reauthorize these critical grant programs that local fire departments use to address staffing needs, purchase equipment, and develop fire training and education programs, and improve emergency medical services.

Peters also his discussed a bipartisan law he wrote to help protect the health and safety of firefighters and emergency responders from PFAS exposure. The Protecting Firefighters from Adverse Substances (PFAS) Act directs federal agencies to develop best practices, training, and educational programs to reduce, limit and prevent exposure to PFAS, also known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they do not naturally break down. 

To download high-resolution photos from the visit, click on the images below. Images are courtesy of Senator Peters’ office.