WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBN) – Senator Sherrod Brown, D-OH, joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues to introduce new legislation to build and upgrade fire stations.

The Fire Station Act would create a $750 million grant for those within FEMA to upgrade fire equipment as well as EMS equipment and facilities.

“Firefighters and first responders put their lives on the line each day, often facing stressful and dangerous situations to protect Ohioans,” said Brown. “This legislation will help to ensure that Ohio first responders have the resources they need to upgrade their facilities and keep our communities safe.”

Brown cited a recent national report on fire departments across the U.S. that revealed many fire and EMS stations across the country have no backup power systems, as well as the fact that 44 percent of fire stations are more than 40 years old. He added that 56 percent of stations lack exhaust emission controls. The survey also found many even lack female crew quarters for personnel.

Under the FIRE STATION Act, funding can be used for:

  • Building, rebuilding, or renovating fire and EMS department facilities;
  • Upgrading existing facilities to install exhaust emission control systems;
  • Installing backup power systems;
  • Upgrading or replacing environmental control systems, such as HVAC systems;
  • Removing or remediating mold;
  • Constructing or modifying living quarters for use by personnel; and
  • Upgrading fire and EMS stations or building new stations to meet modern building codes and standards as set by the National Fire Protection Association and International Code Council.

The legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jon Tester (D-MT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Jack Reed (D-RI).

The Fire Station Act has been endorsed by the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), according to a news release from Brown’s office.