Firefighters 'SAFER' In the New Year

Jan. 13, 2004
When President George W. Bush signed the annual Department of Defense Authorization Act, S.1588, he enacted the International Association of Fire Fighter's Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) into law.

The IAFF successfully inserted the $7.7 billion program to hire 75,000 new fire fighters into the 435-page bill, which funds the Pentagon's operations. A bi-partisan coalition pushed the measure through Congress.

"I am very pleased that we were able to include SAFER as part of the defense authorization. Ensuring adequate staffing and providing sufficient resources to our domestic defenders is essential to safeguarding our homeland," said Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Duncan Hunter (R-CA). Ironically, Hunter, a longtime supporter of federal fire fighters, lost his home in the recent wildfires that ravaged California.

The IAFF will now shift its lobbying efforts to the appropriations process to ensure that SAFER is fully funded for the duration of the program.

"In spite of the administration's opposition to SAFER, we applaud the President for signing this initiative into law. The IAFF encourages President Bush to embrace this program and provide funding in his budget proposal for the coming year," commented IAFF President Harold A. Schaitberger.

The inclusion of the SAFER provision in the Defense Authorization bill was the culmination of several years of work by fire fighter allies in Congress. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Sen. John Warner (R-VA) offered the IAFF proposal as an amendment to the Defense bill on the Senate floor. Rep. Sherry Boehlert (R-NY) led the efforts in the House to assure that the provision would survive a conference committee, and Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) put together the final compromise. Other lawmakers who played key roles were Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Rep. Jack Quinn (R-NY), and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX).

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!