Every year, wildfires burn more than 130,000 acres across Florida, threatening the lives of Floridians, as well as their homes and businesses. Firefighters bravely risk their lives to battle these blazes and protect others. Providing them with adequate equipment is critical to their efforts, as well as their own protection.
Earlier this summer, in the peak of the wildfire season, the Administration canceled programs that provide more than $150 million in surplus military equipment to assist local firefighting efforts because the equipment does not meet air emissions standards.
When the Administration reinstated the programs at the urging of Congress, they added new, burdensome requirements. Now, nearly 200 fire units across Florida will have to track and eventually return dozers, cargo trucks and other equipment they desperately need.
Firefighters risk their lives to protect other Americans, some even on a volunteer basis. The least the Obama Administration can do is provide surplus federal equipment to support their efforts and protect their lives. Without all the red tape and hassle.
Source: Florida Commissioner Adam H. Putnam