NFFE Attends White House Signing Ceremony of Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Help Wildland Firefighters
November 15, 2021
Today, National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) National President Randy Erwin attended the signing ceremony at the White House with President Biden, Congressional leadership, governors, and others from around the country to celebrate the historic passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The new law will deliver roughly $1.2 trillion to repair and improve the nation’s infrastructure systems, and it sends more than $3.3 billion of additional resources to bolster federal wildfire firefighters and programs.
“This is a historic bipartisan win for the Biden Administration and for the entire county,” stated Erwin at the signing ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday afternoon. “In addition to providing desperately needed funding for repairs and new programs to help our aging infrastructure, the law also includes resources to protect those investments from the wildfires ravaging large swaths of the country in the Western states.”
Included in the law is new funding to improve firefighter pay and benefits, a mandate to reclassify outdated job series, an authorization to convert temporary positions to permanent jobs, and guidelines to establish better medical and mental health programs for firefighters. With these improvements, federal agencies and firefighters will be better prepared and equipped to combat the worsening national wildfire crisis.
“In anticipation of the law passing, we started working with the White House several months ago to move forward with implementation of the law’s provisions as quickly as possible,” continued Erwin. “We are excited to engage at a deeper level now that the law is signed, and we look forward to exploring additional, meaningful ways to fight wildfires and to improve the lives and safety of our firefighters.”