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H.R. 5909 (111th): Firefighters Special Operation Task Force Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 28, 2010 (Introduced).



2d Session

H. R. 5909


July 28, 2010

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology


To amend the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 to authorize the Administrator of the United States Fire Administration to provide assistance to firefighting task forces, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Firefighters Special Operation Task Force Act.


Grants for firefighting task forces

The Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2201 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:


Assistance for firefighting task forces



In this section:


Critical infrastructure

The term critical infrastructure has the meaning given that term in section 1016(e) of the Critical Infrastructures Protection Act of 2001 (42 U.S.C. 5195c(e)).


Firefighting personnel

The term firefighting personnel has the meaning given that term in section 33(a).


Incident response

The term incident response means a response by a task force or task force unit to—


a terrorist attack, including such an attack that utilizes a weapon of mass destruction;


a release of a hazardous material;


a natural disaster; or


any other emergency for which a response by a fire service is appropriate.



The term member, with respect to a task force, means a fire service that is a party to the cooperative agreement establishing the task force.


Task force

The term task force means 2 or more fire services that collectively consist of at least 50 firefighting personnel, operating pursuant to a cooperative agreement for the purpose of coordinating incident response among such fire services.


Grant authority

The Administrator may award not more than 100 grants for task forces each fiscal year for the purposes described in subsection (c).



A grant awarded under this section shall be used—


to provide salary and benefits to hire firefighting personnel or rehire firefighting personnel who have been laid off to provide services to the task force, including salary and benefits;


to pay expenses related to the participation of firefighting personnel in appropriate training courses;


to provide training related to incident response to firefighting personnel;


to obtain appropriate equipment, including firefighting vehicles or support systems for members of the task force;


to improve the ability of a member of a task force to communicate with a local police department or hospital, or with any other appropriate governmental or private sector entity; and


to ensure the compatibility and interoperability of training and equipment with those obtained by other task forces.


Application guidance

The Administrator shall make available to potential applicants for assistance under this section a description of a model task force configuration, which shall include—


an administrative unit, consisting of 2 chief officers, 2 captains, and 2 lieutenants, to coordinate training programs, logistics, and maintenance of equipment, which shall operate at least 40 hours per week;


a command unit, consisting of 1 chief officer serving as the task force commander and 1 firefighter serving as communications coordinator, which shall operate at all times;


at least 1 hazardous materials company, consisting of 1 company officer and 5 firefighters, which shall operate at all times;


at least 1 rescue company, consisting of 1 company officer and 5 firefighters, which shall operate at all times; and


6 squad companies, each consisting of 1 company officer and 5 firefighters, which shall operate at all times, and which may serve, as appropriate, as a hazardous materials company or rescue company as described in paragraphs (3) and (4).


Application requirements

Each task force desiring assistance under this section shall submit an application to the Administrator at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Administrator may reasonably require. In order to qualify for a grant, an applicant’s proposal shall provide for—


prompt incident response;


a unified command system;


common training and equipment for task force members;


maximum coverage in the task force region, taking into account population, business centers, vital infrastructures, transportation corridors, and government centers; and


preservation during the life of the grant of the overall personnel level for each fire service, at least at the level in effect at the time the application was submitted.


Selection priority

In selecting a task force to receive assistance under this section, the Administrator shall give priority to task forces that serve a geographic area that—


has a high population density; or


is located not more than 50 miles from—


a facility that produces nuclear power;


a large facility that produces, treats, or refines chemicals or petroleum products;


a business district of national significance; or


a location with one or more critical infrastructures.


Matching requirement

The Administrator may provide assistance to a Task Force under this section for a fiscal year only if the task force agrees to obtain from non-Federal sources for such fiscal year at least 55 percent of the costs of the task force. The non-Federal contributions may be in-kind contributions, including personnel, personnel overtime, vehicles, equipment, administrative costs, fuel, maintenance, contractor services, and rental space.


Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 2011 through 2019.