IAFF: Romney Opposes SAFER and FIRE Act Grant Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Fire fighters today are jumping into the Republican nomination process with a new ad highlighting Mitt Romney’s opposition to critical public safety programs.

The ad, produced by the International Association of Fire Fighters, points out that Romney opposes the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response [SAFER] program, which has saved thousands of fire fighter and paramedic jobs and ensured that public safety remains strong in Illinois and across the country.

“It is important for Illinois voters to know Romney’s poor record on public safety,” International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold Schaitberger said.

Romney also opposes FIRE Act grants, which provide critical funding to communities for life saving equipment and apparatus. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney repeatedly attempted to cut local aid to communities, jeopardizing public safety and safe staffing. He also attempted to strip away the collective bargaining rights of fire fighters in the state.

“The SAFER program has proven to be invaluable to fire departments facing layoffs during the current economic downturn. On the eve of the Illinois primary, we must let voters know that if Mitt Romney has his way, he will eliminate a successful public safety program that makes communities safer by keeping fire fighters on the frontlines,” Schaitberger said.

The SAFER program has put more than 5,000 fire fighters back to work across the country, giving a much-needed boost to public safety in countless struggling communities. In Illinois, the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] provided fire departments $10.2 million in grants to hire or retain fire fighters last year.

The ad can viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8DXBksXb2Q

The IAFF, headquartered in Washington, represents more than 300,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics in North America and is the leading advocate for the health and safety of fire fighters. More information is available at www.iaff.org.