NATIONAL NEWS

Biden heads to Philadelphia for firefighters and fundraising

Dec 10, 2023, 9:10 PM

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks about investment in rail projects, including high-speed electric ...

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks about investment in rail projects, including high-speed electric trains, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will join Philadelphia firefighters on Monday to announce federal funding that will reopen three fire companies, according to the White House.

The companies — Engine 6, Ladder 1 and Ladder 11 — were decommissioned during the Great Recession. Union leaders have said the cutbacks hampered the city’s response to a deadly rowhouse fire in the Fairmount neighborhood last year. Three adults and nine children were killed in the blaze.

The White House said Philadelphia would receive $22.4 million to pay for 72 firefighters’ salaries and benefits for three years. The money comes from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and was made available through last year’s budget.

Also scheduled to attend Monday’s event are Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and U.S. Fire Administrator Lori Moore-Merrell.

Ed Kelly, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, and Mike Bresnan, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 22, are expected to be there as well.

Biden has political reasons to be in Philadelphia as well. He’s scheduled to hold a campaign fundraiser in the city.

The Democratic president is ramping up his fundraising as he prepares for a potential rematch with Republican former President Donald Trump next year.

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Biden heads to Philadelphia for firefighters and fundraising