H. R. 3791
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
November 19, 2009
Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
To amend sections 33 and 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of
Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Reauthorization
Section 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2229) is amended to read as follows:
In accordance with this section, the Director may—
make grants on a competitive basis directly to fire departments of a State, in consultation with the chief executive of the State, for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel throughout the Nation against fire and fire-related hazards;
make grants on a competitive basis directly to State fire training academies, in consultation with the chief executive of the State, in accordance with paragraph (11)(C);
provide assistance for fire prevention and firefighter safety research and development programs and fire prevention or fire safety programs and activities in accordance with paragraph (4); and
provide assistance for volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue organizations for the purpose of paragraph (3)(F).
The Director shall establish specific criteria for the selection of recipients of assistance under this section and shall provide grant-writing assistance to applicants.
Use of fire department grant funds
The Director may make a grant under paragraph (1)(A) only if the applicant for the grant agrees to use the grant funds for one or more of the following purposes:
To hire additional firefighting personnel.
To train firefighting personnel in firefighting, emergency medical services and other emergency response (including response to a terrorism incident or use of a weapon of mass destruction), arson prevention and detection, maritime firefighting, or the handling of hazardous materials or to train firefighting personnel to provide any of the training described in this subparagraph.
To fund the creation of rapid intervention teams to protect firefighting personnel at the scenes of fires and other emergencies.
To certify fire and building inspectors employed by a fire department or serving as a volunteer building inspector with a fire department.
To establish wellness and fitness programs for firefighting personnel to ensure that the firefighting personnel can carry out their duties, including programs dedicated to raising awareness of, and prevention of, job-related mental health issues.
To fund emergency medical services provided by fire departments and volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue organizations.
To acquire additional firefighting vehicles, including fire trucks.
To acquire additional firefighting equipment, including equipment for communications, monitoring, and response to a terrorism incident or use of a weapon of mass destruction.
To acquire personal protective equipment required for firefighting personnel by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other personal protective equipment for firefighting personnel, including protective equipment to respond to a terrorism incident or the use of a weapon of mass destruction.
To modify fire stations, fire training facilities, and other facilities to protect the health and safety of firefighting personnel.
To enforce fire codes and standards.
To fund fire prevention programs.
To educate the public about arson prevention and detection.
To provide incentives for the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighting personnel for volunteer firefighting departments and other firefighting departments that utilize volunteers.
To acquire equipment designed to reduce the amount of water used in firefighting or training firefighting personnel.
Fire prevention and firefighter safety research and development programs
For each fiscal year, the Director shall use not less than 10 percent of the funds made available under subsection (e)—
to make grants to fire departments for the purpose described in paragraph (3)(L);
to make grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with, national, State, local, or community organizations that are not fire departments but—
that are recognized for their experience and expertise with respect to fire prevention or fire safety programs and activities and that partner with fire departments, for the purpose of carrying out such programs and activities;
engage in fire- and life safety-related activities as a primary purpose or function, for the purpose of carrying out fire prevention or fire safety programs and activities; or
that are recognized for their experience and expertise with respect to firefighter research and development programs, for the purpose of carrying out research on fire prevention or fire safety programs and activities or to improve firefighter health and life safety; and
if the Director determines that it is necessary, to make grants or enter into contracts in accordance with subsection (c).
In selecting organizations described in subparagraph (A)(ii) to receive assistance under this paragraph, the Director shall give priority to organizations that focus on prevention of injuries to high risk groups from fire, as well as research programs that demonstrate the potential to improve firefighter safety.
A grant under this paragraph shall not exceed $1,500,000 for a fiscal year.
None of the funds made available under this paragraph may be provided to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied organizations.
The Director may provide assistance to a fire department or organization (including a State fire training academy) under this subsection only if the fire department or organization seeking the assistance submits to the Director an application that meets the following requirements:
The application shall be in such form as the Director may require.
The application shall include the following information:
Information that demonstrates the financial need of the applicant for the assistance for which applied.
An analysis of the costs and benefits, with respect to public safety, of the use of the assistance.
An agreement to provide information to the national fire incident reporting system for the period covered by the assistance.
A list of other sources of Federal funding received by the applicant.
Any other information that the Director may require.
The Director, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall use the list provided under subparagraph (B)(iv) to prevent the unnecessary duplication of grant funds.
Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C) and paragraph (8), the Director may provide assistance under this subsection only if the applicant for such assistance agrees to match 10 percent of such assistance for any fiscal year with an equal amount of non-Federal funds.
Requirement for small community organizations
In the case of an applicant whose personnel serve jurisdictions of 20,000 or fewer residents, the percent applied under the matching requirement of subparagraph (A) shall be 5 percent.
Fire prevention and firefighter safety grants exception
There shall be no matching requirement for a grant described in paragraph (4).
Maintenance of expenditures
Subject to paragraph (8), the Director may provide assistance under this subsection only if the applicant for the assistance agrees to maintain in the fiscal year for which the assistance will be received the applicant’s aggregate expenditures for the uses described in paragraph (3) or (4) at or above 80 percent of the average level of such expenditures in the 2 fiscal years preceding the fiscal year for which the assistance will be received.
Economic hardship waiver
In exceptional circumstances, the Director may waive or reduce the matching requirement under paragraph (6) and the maintenance of expenditures requirement under paragraph (7) for applicants facing demonstrated economic hardship.
The criteria under which the Director may waive or reduce such requirements shall be developed in consultation with individuals who are—
recognized for expertise in firefighting, emergency medical services provided by fire services, or the economic affairs of State and local governments; and
members of national fire service organizations or national organizations representing the interests of State and local governments.
The Director shall make the criteria developed under subparagraph (B) publicly available.
Variety of fire department grant recipients
Of the amounts made available under subsection (e), the Director shall ensure that grants under paragraph (1)(A) for a fiscal year are allocated, to the extent that there are eligible applicants to carry out the activities under paragraph (3), as follows:
25 percent shall be made available to career fire departments.
25 percent shall be made available to volunteer fire departments.
25 percent shall be made available to combination fire departments.
In awarding grants under paragraph (1)(A), the Director shall, within each category of applicants under subparagraph (A), consider a broad range of factors important to the applicant’s ability to respond to fires and related hazards, such as population served, geographic response area, hazard vulnerability, call volume, financial situation including unemployment rate of the area being served, and need for training or equipment.
High population and incident response
In considering such factors under clause (i), applicants serving areas with high population and with a high number of incidents requiring a response shall receive a higher level of consideration.
Prohibited basis for denial
In considering such factors under clause (i), the Director may not deny a grant to an applicant solely based on such applicant failing to demonstrate that the grant will be used to prepare for or respond to a terrorism incident or use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Of the amounts made available under subsection (e) that are not allocated for use and awarded under subparagraph (A) or designated for use under any other provision of this section, the Director shall provide for an open competition for grants among career fire departments, volunteer fire departments, and combination fire departments to carry out the activities under paragraph (3).
Report to the director
The Director may provide assistance under this subsection only if the applicant for the assistance agrees to submit to the Director a report, including a description of how the assistance was used, with respect to each fiscal year for which the assistance was received.
A grant recipient under paragraph (1)(A)—
that serves a jurisdiction with 100,000 people or less may not receive grants in excess of $1,000,000 for any fiscal year;
that serves a jurisdiction with more than 100,000 people but less than 500,000 people may not receive grants in excess of $2,000,000 for any fiscal year;
that serves a jurisdiction with 500,000 people or more but less than 1,000,000 people may not receive grants in excess of $3,000,000 for any fiscal year;
that serves a jurisdiction with 1,000,000 people or more but less than 2,500,000 people may not receive grants in excess of $6,000,000 for any fiscal year; and
that serves a jurisdiction with 2,500,000 people or more may not receive grants in excess of $9,000,000 for any fiscal year.
Limitation on expenditures for firefighting vehicles
Not more than 25 percent of the funds appropriated to provide grants under this section for a fiscal year may be used to assist grant recipients to purchase vehicles, as authorized by paragraph (3)(G).
State Fire Training Academies
In accordance with clause (ii), the Director shall award not more than 3 percent of the amounts made available under subsection (e) for a fiscal year for grants under this subsection for State fire training academies.
The Director shall—
award not more than 1 grant under this subparagraph per State in a fiscal year;
limit the amount of a grant to a State fire training academy to less than or equal to $1,000,000 in each fiscal year; and
ensure that any grant awarded to a State fire training academy shall be used for the purposes described in paragraphs 3(G), 3(H), or 3(I).
Requirements for grants for emergency medical services
The Director shall award not more than 2 percent of the amounts made available under subsection (e) for a fiscal year to volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue organizations for the purposes described in paragraph (3)(F).
Application of selection criteria to grant applications from volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue organizations
In reviewing applications submitted by volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue organizations, the Director shall consider the extent to which other sources of Federal funding are available to provide the assistance requested in such grant applications.
Any grant amounts used to obtain training under this section shall be limited to training that complies with applicable national voluntary consensus standards (if applicable national voluntary consensus standards have been established), unless a waiver has been granted under clause (ii).
Explanation for non-standard training
If an applicant for a grant seeks to use the assistance provided under the grant to obtain training that does not meet or exceed applicable voluntary consensus standards, the applicant shall include in the application an explanation of why such training will serve the needs of the applicant better than training that does meet or exceed such standards.
In making a determination whether or not to waive the requirement under clause (i) with respect to a specific standard, the Director shall, to the greatest extent practicable—
consult with other members of the fire services regarding the impact on fire departments of the requirement to meet or exceed the specific standard;
take into consideration the explanation provided by the applicant under subclause (I); and
seek to minimize the impact of the requirement to meet or exceed the specific standard on the applicant, particularly if meeting the standard would impose additional costs.
Applicants that apply for a grant under the terms of subclause (I) may include a second grant request in the application to be considered by the Director in the event that the Director does not approve the primary grant request on the grounds of the training not meeting applicable voluntary consensus standards.
Eligible grantee on behalf of Alaska native villages
The Alaska Village Initiatives, a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Alaska, shall be considered an eligible grantee for purposes of receiving assistance under this section on behalf of Alaska Native villages.
The Director shall convene an annual meeting of individuals who are members of national fire service organizations and are recognized for expertise in firefighting or emergency medical services provided by fire services, and who are not employees of the Federal Government, for the purpose of recommending criteria for awarding grants under this section for the next fiscal year and any necessary administrative changes to the grant program.
Each year, prior to accepting any application for a grant under each program under this section, the Director shall publish in the Federal Register—
guidelines that describe the process for applying for grants and the criteria for awarding grants;
an explanation of any differences between the guidelines and the recommendations made pursuant to paragraph (13); and
the criteria developed under paragraph (8) which the Director will use to evaluate applicants for waivers from program requirements.
The criteria for awarding grants under paragraph (1)(A) shall include the extent to which the grant would enhance the daily operations of the applicant and the impact of such a grant on the protection of lives and property.
The Director, after consultation with national fire service organizations, shall appoint fire service personnel to conduct peer review of applications received under paragraph (5). In making grants under this section, the Director shall consider the results of such peer review evaluations.
Applicability of federal advisory committee act
The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to activities under paragraphs (13) and (15).
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule, regulation, or guidance, for purposes of receiving assistance under this section, equipment costs shall include all costs attributable to any design, purchase of components, assembly, manufacture, and transportation of equipment not otherwise commercially available.
A recipient of a grant under this section shall be subject to audits to ensure that the grant proceeds are expended for the intended purposes and that the grant recipient complies with the requirements of paragraphs (6) and (7) of subsection (a) unless the Director has granted a waiver under subsection (a)(8).
Fire safety research centers
The Director may make a grant under subsection (a)(4)(A)(iii) to an institution of higher education, a national fire service organization, or a national fire safety organization to establish and operate a fire safety research center.
A grant received under this subsection shall be used by such an institution or organization to advance significantly the Nation’s ability to reduce the number of fire-related deaths and injuries among firefighters and the general public through research, development, and technology transfer activities.
The Director may establish no more than 3 fire safety research centers. An institution of higher education, a national fire service organization, or a national fire safety organization may not directly receive a grant under this section for a fiscal year for more than 1 fire safety research center.
In order to be eligible to receive a fire safety research center grant, an institution of higher education, a national fire service organization, or a national fire safety organization shall submit to the Director an application that is in such form and contains such information and assurances as the Director may require.
General Selection Criteria
The Director shall select each recipient of a grant under this subsection through a competitive process on the basis of the following:
The demonstrated research and extension resources available to the recipient to carry out the research, development, and technology transfer activities.
The capability of the recipient to provide leadership in making national contributions to fire safety.
The recipient’s ability to disseminate the results of fire safety research.
The strategic plan the recipient proposes to carry out under the grant.
The Director shall give special consideration under paragraph (5) to an applicant for a grant that consists of a partnership between a national fire service organization or a national fire safety organization and at least 1 of the following:
An institution of higher education.
A minority-serving institution (defined as an eligible institution under section 371(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1067q(a))).
Within 90 days after the date of enactment of the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009, the Director shall convene a workshop of the fire safety research community, fire service organizations, and other appropriate stakeholders to identify and prioritize fire safety research needs. The results of the workshop shall be made public, and the Director shall consider such results in making awards under this section.
In this section, the following definitions apply:
Career fire department
The term career fire department means a firefighting department that has an all professional force of firefighting personnel.
Combination fire department
The term combination fire department means a firefighting department that has a combined force of professional and volunteer firefighting personnel.
The term Director means the Director, acting through the Administrator.
The term firefighting personnel means individuals, including volunteers, who are firefighters, officers of fire departments, or emergency medical service personnel of fire departments.
Institution of higher education
The term institution of higher education has the meaning given such term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).
Volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue organization
volunteer, non-fire service
EMS and rescue organization means a public or private nonprofit
emergency medical services organization that—
is not affiliated with a hospital;
does not serve a geographic area in which the Director finds that emergency medical services are adequately provided by a fire department; and
is staffed primarily by volunteers.
Such term includes a river rescue organization if such organization otherwise meets the definition in subparagraph (A).
Volunteer fire department
The term volunteer fire department means a firefighting department that has an all volunteer force of firefighting personnel.
River rescue organization
organization means an organization that provides emergency search and
rescue services to a person affected by a flood, a water-related accident, or
another disaster for which services, including water rescue and patrol, dive
rescue and recovery, emergency first response, flood recovery, or fire and
rescue services on the water, are required.
Authorization of Appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated for the purposes of this section $1,000,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.
Of the funds appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) for a fiscal year, the Director may use not more than 3 percent of the funds to cover salaries and expenses and other administrative costs incurred by the Director to make grants and provide assistance under this section.
The Director shall subtract the amount to be used for subparagraph (A) from the amount appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) before making any allocations or apportioning any funds under subsections (a) or (c).
Sense of Congress
It is the sense of Congress that—
from fiscal years 2003 through 2008—
the funding appropriated for activities under section 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 declined by approximately 30 percent; and
the number of fire departments receiving awards declined by nearly 40 percent, while the number of applicants increased, resulting in a reduction in applicant success rates from over 43 percent to just 25 percent;
the House-passed conference report for the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010 appropriates $390 million for activities under such section 33, a decrease of over 30 percent below that provided in fiscal year 2009;
declining funding reduces the Director’s ability to successfully carry out the primary purpose of such section, which is to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel throughout the Nation against fire and fire-related hazards; and
halting and reversing the decline in appropriations to ensure a high level of funding for the activities under such section 33 should be a top priority.
Expansion of pre-September 11, 2001, fire grant program reauthorization
Section 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2229a) is amended to read as follows:
Expansion of pre-September 11, 2001, fire grant program
Expanded Authority To Make Grants
The Director shall make grants directly to career, volunteer, and combination fire departments, in consultation with the chief executive of the State in which the applicant is located, 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 and to fulfill traditional missions of fire departments that antedate the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
Duration and use
Grants made under this paragraph shall be for 3 years and shall be used for programs to hire new, additional firefighters.
Grant recipients are required to commit to retaining for at least the entire 3 years of the grant period those firefighters hired under this paragraph.
The portion of the cost of hiring firefighters provided by a grant under this paragraph may not exceed 80 percent of such cost for each fiscal year.
In awarding grants under this subsection, the Director may give preferential consideration to applications that involve a non-Federal contribution exceeding the minimums under subparagraph (B)(iii).
The Director may provide technical assistance to States, units of local government, Indian tribal governments, and other public entities in furtherance of the purposes of this section.
Volunteer activities allowed
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any firefighter hired with funds provided under this subsection shall not be discriminated against for, or be prohibited from, engaging in volunteer activities in another jurisdiction during off-duty hours.
The Director shall award all grants under this section on a competitive basis through a neutral peer review process.
At the beginning of the fiscal year, the Director shall set aside 10 percent of the funds made available for carrying out this paragraph for departments with majority volunteer or all volunteer personnel.
After awards have been made, if less than 10 percent of the funds made available for carrying out this paragraph are not awarded to departments with majority volunteer or all volunteer personnel, the Director shall transfer from funds made available for carrying out this paragraph to funds made available for carrying out paragraph (2) an amount equal to the difference between the amount that is provided to such fire departments and 10 percent.
Recruitment and retention grants
In addition to any amounts transferred under paragraph (1)(G)(ii), the Director shall direct at least 10 percent of the total amount of funds made available under this section annually to a competitive grant program for the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters who are involved with or trained in the operations of firefighting and emergency response.
Eligible entities shall include volunteer or combination fire departments and organizations on a local, statewide, or national basis that represent the interests of volunteer firefighters.
No grant may be made under this section unless an application has been submitted to, and approved by, the Director.
An application for a grant under this section shall be submitted in such form and contain such information and assurances as the Director may prescribe.
At a minimum, each application for a grant under this section shall—
explain the applicant’s inability to address the need without Federal assistance;
in the case of a grant under subsection (a)(1), explain how the applicant plans to meet the requirements of subparagraphs (B)(ii) and (E) of such subsection;
specify long-term plans for retaining firefighters following the conclusion of Federal support provided under this section; and
provide assurances that the applicant will, to the extent practicable, seek, recruit, and hire members of racial and ethnic minority groups and women in order to increase their ranks within firefighting.
Limitation on Use of Funds
Supplement, not supplant
Funds made available under this section to fire departments for salaries and benefits to hire new, additional firefighters shall not be used to supplant State or local funds, or, in the case of Indian tribal governments, funds supplied by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, but shall be used to increase the amount of funds that would, in the absence of Federal funds received under this section, be made available from State or local sources, or in the case of Indian tribal governments, from funds supplied by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Replacement funding prohibited
No grant shall be awarded pursuant to this section to a municipality or other recipient whose annual budget at the time of the application for fire-related programs and emergency response has been reduced below 80 percent of the average funding level in the 3 years prior to the date of application.
Funds appropriated by the Congress for the activities of any agency of an Indian tribal government or the Bureau of Indian Affairs performing firefighting functions on any Indian lands may be used to provide the non-Federal share of the cost of programs or projects funded under this section.
In exceptional circumstances, the Director may waive the requirements of subsections (a)(1)(B)(ii), (a)(1)(B)(iii), (c)(1), and (c)(2) if the Director determines that the jurisdiction is facing demonstrated economic hardship in accordance with section 33(a)(8).
The Director may require a grant recipient to submit any information the Director considers reasonably necessary to evaluate the program.
The authority under this section to make grants shall lapse at the end of the 10-year period that begins on the date of enactment of the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009.
Not later than 6 years after such date of enactment, the Director shall submit to Congress a report concerning the experience with, and effectiveness of, such grants in meeting the objectives of this section. The report may include any recommendations the Director may have for amendments to this section and related provisions of law.
Revocation or Suspension of Funding
If the Director determines that a grant recipient under this section is not in substantial compliance with the terms and requirements of an approved grant application submitted under this section, the Director may revoke or suspend funding of that grant, in whole or in part.
Access to Documents
The Director shall have access for the purpose of audit and examination to any pertinent books, documents, papers, or records of a grant recipient under this section and to the pertinent books, documents, papers, or records of State and local governments, persons, businesses, and other entities that are involved in programs, projects, or activities for which assistance is provided under this section.
Paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to audits and examinations conducted by the Comptroller General of the United States or by an authorized representative of the Comptroller General.
In this section, the term—
Director means the Director, acting through the Administrator;
firefighter has the meaning given the term employee in fire protection activities under section 3(y) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 203(y)); and
Indian tribe means a tribe, band, pueblo, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians, including an Alaska Native village (as defined in or established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)), that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.
Authorization of Appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated for the purposes of carrying out this section $1,194,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.
Study and report
Study and report on assistance to firefighters grant program
The Administrator of the United States Fire Administration, in conjunction with the National Fire Protection Association, shall conduct a study to—
define the current roles and activities associated with the fire services on a national, State, regional, and local level;
identify the equipment, staffing, and training required to fulfill the roles and activities defined under subparagraph (A);
conduct an assessment to identify gaps between what fire departments currently possess and what they require to meet the equipment, staffing, and training needs identified under subparagraph (B) on a national and State-by-State basis; and
measure the impact of the grant program under section 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2229) in—
meeting the needs of the fire services identified in the report submitted to Congress under section 3603(a) of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005; and
filling the gaps identified under subparagraph (C).
Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to Congress a report on the findings of the study described in paragraph (1).
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator of the United States Fire Administration a total of $300,000 for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 to carry out subsection (a).
National voluntary consensus standards
Survey by the Department of Homeland Security
Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Task Force established under subsection (b), shall begin to conduct a survey of each career fire department, volunteer fire department, and combination fire department located in the United States in order to ascertain whether each fire department is in compliance with the national voluntary consensus standards for staffing, training, safe operations, personal protective equipment, and fitness.
In carrying out the survey, the Secretary shall ascertain, for each fire department in the United States, the rates of compliance with each such standard of—
career fire departments, volunteer fire departments, and combination fire departments;
fire departments located in communities of varying sizes; and
fire departments in each of the States.
Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a summary of the findings of the survey required under paragraph (1), including the rates of compliance under the categories specified under subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (2).
Establishment of task force to enhance firefighter safety
Not later than 60 days after the date of
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish a task force to be known
Task Force to Enhance Firefighter Safety (in this section
referred to as the
The Secretary shall appoint members of the Task Force from among the general public and shall include—
representatives of national organizations representing firefighters and fire chiefs;
individuals representing standards-setting and accrediting organizations, including representatives from the voluntary consensus codes and standards development community; and
other individuals as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
Representatives of other departments and agencies
The Secretary may invite representatives of other departments and agencies of the United States that have an interest in the fire service to participate in the meetings and other activities of the Task Force.
Number; Terms of service; Pay and allowances
The Secretary shall determine the number, terms of service, and pay and allowances of members of the Task Force appointed by the Secretary, except that a term of service of any such member may not exceed 2 years.
The Task Force shall—
consult with the Secretary to conduct the survey required under subsection (a); and
develop a plan to enhance firefighter safety by increasing fire department compliance with national voluntary consensus standards for staffing, training, safe operations, personal protective equipment, and fitness, including by—
reviewing and evaluating the report required under subsection (a) to determine the extent of and barriers to achieving compliance with national voluntary consensus standards among fire departments; and
considering ways in which the Federal Government, States, and localities can promote or encourage fire departments to comply with national voluntary consensus standards.
Report to Congress
Not later than 6 months after the date on which the Secretary submits the report required under subsection (a)(3), the Task Force shall submit to Congress and the Secretary a report containing the findings and recommendations of the Task Force together with the plan described in paragraph (3)(B).
The terms used in this section that are defined in sections 4, 33, or 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 shall have the meaning given such terms in such Act.
National voluntary consensus standards
For the purposes of
this section, the term
national voluntary consensus standards
means the latest edition of the national voluntary consensus standards for
firefighter and fire department staffing, training, safe operations, personal
protective equipment, and fitness available on the date of the enactment of
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Homeland Security such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2013.
Prohibition on earmarks
None of the funds appropriated to carry out the amendments made by this Act may be used for a congressional earmark as defined in clause 9, of Rule XXI of the rules of the House of Representatives of the 111th Congress.
Passed the House of Representatives November 18, 2009.
Lorraine C. Miller,