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NH Delegation Welcomes More Than $690K in Federal Funding to Hire and Retain Firefighters in Candia

(Candia, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, alongside U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee, and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) welcomed $690,562 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support the Candia Fire Department through the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program. The SAFER program provides eligible fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations with resources to hire new, additional firefighters (or to change the status of part-time or paid-on-call firefighters to full-time firefighters), to rehire laid off firefighters or to retain firefighters facing layoff, as well as to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters.

“The SAFER program has been instrumental in bolstering New Hampshire’s fire departments and providing them with the personnel they need to protect our communities,” said Shaheen. “I’m thrilled to welcome over $690,000 in funding for the Candia Fire Department to recruit and retain new firefighters. Our fire departments work tirelessly, responding to emergencies and keeping our families safe. They deserve adequate federal resources to maintain a strong workforce that helps ensure the safety of both residents and fellow firefighters on the job. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll keep working to provide to prioritize federal resources for our first responders.”

“If a fire station is under-staffed, that could be the difference between life and death for someone caught in a burning building,” said Hassan. “This federal grant money for the Candia Fire Station will help make the community safer and will support fire fighters who put themselves in harm’s way every day for our safety.”

“I am thrilled to see these FEMA funds heading to New Hampshire to support our firefighters and first responders in Candia and Deerfield,” said Kuster. “From hiring and training new staff to purchasing needed gear, this grant will help protect our communities. I will continue working to ensure our Granite State fire departments have the support they need to retain qualified staff and do their jobs safely.”

“Fire fighters risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe, and it’s vital that they have the resources they need to do their job,” said Pappas. “This funding will help the Candia Fire Department recruit and retain fire fighters to ensure there is personnel to meet their community’s needs. I’m pleased to see this investment coming to New Hampshire, and I’ll continue working to support our fire fighters and first responders and improve public safety.”

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has consistently fought to support New Hampshire firefighters. In funding legislation for FY 2023 that was passed by Congress and signed into law, Shaheen secured $370 million for the SAFER program, and helped include an additional $370 million for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. In total, the FY 2023 law will provide a $20 million increase in funding for firefighters compared with the enacted FY 2022 funding level. In 2022, SAFER and AFG awarded a combined $5,428,280 to New Hampshire fire departments. Earlier this year, the New Hampshire delegation welcomed $335,865 from FEMA to support Granite State firefighters in Portsmouth and Laconia through the AFG program.

As a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee, Senator Hassan successfully worked to increase funding for the AFG and SAFER programs in the American Rescue Plan that was passed into law. In addition, Senator Hassan recently helped advance a bipartisan bill to extend the SAFER and AFG programs that are set to expire next year.