Sen. Gary Peters spearheads effort to extend firefighting grants for 7 more years

Firefighters provide lifesaving help every single day - that's one of the reasons lawmakers are going to bat to make sure local fire stations have the critical resources they need.

"Every year it seems the run volume increases and increases and they’re doing almost 20,000 runs for service here in the city of Sterling Heights," said Mayor Mike Taylor.

Now fire stations across the country - including Sterling Heights - need help. Cities are calling on lawmakers to extend federal grant programs that provide critical resources to fire stations.

"In the past years we've been able to use these grants to provide for the equipment on the fire trucks, the equipment in the ambulance and the breathing apparatus," said Fire Chief Kevin Edmond, Sterling Heights.

Another goal is also to hire new firefighters.

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Michigan) says it is crucial to act now because these programs are set to expire soon.

"My legislation will extend those grants for an additional seven years," Peters said. "It will keep the level constant nationally at $750 million dollars in grants around the country."

As Sen. Peters toured the Sterling Heights station, he recalled his own introduction to firefighting.

"In my training in the United States Navy, in the Navy every sailor is a fireman," he said. "And I remember during that training, I just thought 'I hope this is never real because this is pretty intense.'"

It is just one of the reasons Peters is pushing to get his bipartisan legislation passed.

"So I’m going to work to get this bill passed this week," Peters said. "We'll get it out of the Senate and send it over to the House. We are hoping to get a signed into law as quickly as possible."

"I’m very grateful to Sen. Peters for leading this bill and his continued support for state responders in Michigan," said Edmond.