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Legislative Issues

The IAFC’s Government Relations and Policy department represents the unified voice of America’s fire chiefs in Washington, D.C. The IAFC works with both the Executive Branch and Congress to ensure that federal laws, regulations, and policies meet the needs and requirements of the local fire chief. From Congressional hearings to meetings with Cabinet secretaries, the IAFC advocates on your behalf.

One of the IAFC’s Government Relations and Policy’s department’s main efforts is to pass legislation to create and maintain programs that help America’s fire service leadership. On Capitol Hill, we address a variety of administrative and operational issues that span the broad scope of the fire and emergency service.

Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA), is one of the most significant reforms to the U.S. health care system in over a generation. Since its passage, the federal government and others have been analyzing the act and determining how to implement this legislation, but one thing is clear: it will significantly impact both fire department administration and operations. The legislation is extensive, with many moving pieces, and public opinion about the bill is highly polarized. Therefore, it’s critical that fire department leaders fully understand the facts.

Communication technology and applications are a lifeline for first responders. IAFC works actively with the response community, government and industry to get it right.

The world of EMS is rapidly changing and IAFC is there to ensure the voice of fire-based EMS is heard.

Federal Taxation
The tax system can be complicated. IAFC works to make sure that fire department leaders understand the ins and outs of taxation issues and fights to preserve firefighter benefits.

Fire Prevention
Fire prevention legislation needs to be led by the experts…not politicians or private interests. The IAFC educates elected officials on the issues and on-the-ground impact.  Whether it's sprinklers, campus fire safety, or other fire prevention issues, IAFC keeps policy focused on public and responder safety.  

Grant Funding
Now more than ever, the local fire service needs access to federal support for its all-hazards mission. IAFC fights to ensure that federally funded programs remain a viable option for fire departments increasingly charged to “do more with less”.

Hazardous Materials
The national hazardous materials landscape is one that touches every community.  From rail and trucking lines to pipelines and tank farms and from each car on the road to each house on the street, hazardous materials are a part of our daily lives. Local first responders must have a leading voice in national policies that shape hazmat handling, transportation, training and response. 

Homeland Security
Fire departments are the first line of defense against human-made and natural threats to our nation; therefore, fire chiefs need to be on the front line of national policy discussions regarding preparedness, response, resiliency, funding, training, and more. 

PSOB Program
The IAFC is committed to ensuring that federal survivor benefits remain funded, accessible and fair, and to helping survivors understand the resources available and how to apply for them.
Volunteer and Combination
The Volunteer and Combination fire service stands as the backbone to many of America’s communities. The IAFC is committed to ensuring that volunteer and combination chiefs are involved in national policy discussions and is working to protect their ability to serve their communities.

Wildland Fire
The IAFC led the charge to ensure local fire and emergency service leaders had a voice in national wildland fire policy and programming. The local fire and emergency services need to remain an integral part of the national wildland fire framework so that they can successfully work with their federal and state counterparts to combat one of the fastest growing natural threats to the U.S.