BURLINGTON, Vt., Jan. 26 – Sen. Bernie Sanders will hold a roundtable discussion with Vermont first responders on Monday, January 29 at 10:00 a.m. to hear about challenges they face and what the federal government can do to support them.
The discussion with firefighters and EMS providers will cover range of issues, including recruitment, wages, training, and equipment costs. Sanders and attendees will provide updates on several Congressionally Directed Spending projects for which Sanders secured more than $1.5 million in federal funding. The funding is being used to quadruple the number of spots at the Vermont State Firefighters Association cadet academy, establish more affordable EMS training, and build a new ambulance station in Waterbury.
“Our first responders are under an enormous amount of pressure,” said Sanders. “They regularly put their lives on the line to protect our communities. And right now, rural fire departments and EMS agencies in Vermont and across our country are struggling to attract and retain members. We must get them the support they need. It’s time for us to do some real thinking about how we can urgently address the very serious problems our first responders are facing.”
In 2022, Sanders introduced the Firefighter Staffing and Support Act, which would triple federal funding to $12 billion over five years for firefighter grants. Sanders also introduced the EMS Staffing and Support Act, which would provide $500 million to establish a grant program to exclusively fund a range of EMS needs.
What: First Responders Roundtable with Sen. Bernie Sanders
When: 10:00 a.m., Monday, January 29
Where: Sanders’ Senate Office, 1 Church Street, Burlington, VT