Some 1,800 firefighters receive their salaries through so-called "Safer" grants administered by FEMA, and the grants may not be accessible under a shutdown. Homeland Security could soon shutter some of its operations because the agency's annual funding allocation wasn't renewed in December by Republican lawmakers over the Obama administration's executive actions on illegal immigration.
Thomas Raines, president of the IAFF Local 102 and battalion chief of the Saginaw Fire Department in Michigan, said the department may lose 13 firefighters if the upcoming grant period hits a snag due to the shutdown. State governments could also be left in the lurch in the face of a natural disaster during the shutdown, according to a FEMA official. In a letter sent to leaders on the Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee earlier this month, IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger warned of the dangers of not funding Homeland Security. State Homeland Security Program (SHSP): The SHSP supports the implementation of risk driven, capabilities-based State Homeland Security Strategies to address capability targets set in Urban Area, State, and regional Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (THIRAs).


Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI): The UASI program addresses the unique risk driven and capabilities-based planning, organization, equipment, training, exercise needs, of high-threat, high-density Urban Areas based on the capability targets identified during the THIRA process and associated assessment efforts, and assists them in building an enhanced and sustainable capacity to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism. These grants, which cover homeland security, port security, transit security and other activities, are part of a total $1.6 billion in Preparedness Grant Programs that were handed out to states and tribal governments. Virginia received $7.4 million from the State Homeland Security Program out of a total of $401 million dollars that were awarded and another $8 million in Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG). Of greatest importance to the trade was a little over $700,000 awarded to the Virginia Port Authority Port Security Grand Program funds.
Some 1,800 firefighters who receive salaries through FEMA will be affected if the Department of Homeland Security shuts down. Department of Homeland Security shuts down later this week because Congress is at an impasse over funding the agency.


The funds are used to hire new firefighters, rehire firefighters that had to be laid off, help communities retain firefighters in danger of being laid off or fill firefighter positions that were vacated due to attrition, according to FEMA. House Republicans have said they will only fund Homeland Security if Obama's immigration policies are rolled back. About 1,800 firefighters receive their salaries through Safer grants, according to Politico. Firefighters rely upon DHS programs such as the Assistance to Fire Fighters and Safer grants, which help local fire departments meet their baseline readiness needs,” he wrote. “The State Homeland Security Grant Program and the Urban Area Security Initiative provide resources to localities to help prepare for the threat of terrorism, and the Urban Search and Rescue Response System provides lifesaving aid to disaster?stricken communities.



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