Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  U.S. Senator John Thune announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will host grant workshops in South Dakota to assist fire departments in planning and applying for the 2008 Assistance to Fire Fighters Grant (AFG) Program, Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, and the Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grant program.

"First responders across our state have benefited from the grants available to them. These workshops will assist them in putting together the best possible application. The funds provided through these programs have been put to good use by numerous first responders across South Dakota and I hope they are able to take advantage of these workshops as part of their preparation," said Thune.

The first workshop in South Dakota will be in Rapid City on March 3rd at 6:00 PM MT at the North Haines Fire Department, followed by one in Sioux Falls on March 4th at 6:00 PM CT at the Sioux Falls Fire Headquarters. On March 5th there will be a workshop at the Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center (ARCC) Building in Aberdeen at 6:30 PM CT and one in Pierre on March 6th at 6:30 PM at the Pierre Fire Department Station 1.

The workshops will run approximately two hours and no registration is necessary. Fire departments that are unable to attend or would like additional information about these programs and the 2008 grant cycle can go to to learn more.

The AFG program aims to enhance response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public from the dangers of fire and other hazards. Departments may use the funds to purchase or receive training, conduct first responder health and safety programs, and buy equipment and response vehicles. The FP&S program supports projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards and targets high-risk populations and works to mitigate high incidences of death and injury. SAFER grants were created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations to increase the number of trained, "front-line" firefighters available in their communities.