The Illinois State Fire Marshal and Governor Pritzker announced recipients of the Small Equipment Grant Program on Monday. A total of $3.5 million was awarded to 154 fire departments/districts and EMS providers. Over 540 applications requesting roughly $12 million in funding were received by local departments across the State of Illinois.
“First responders put their lives on the line every single day to do the critical work of protecting Illinois’ communities. I am pleased to award $3.5 million in small equipment grants to 154 fire departments and EMS providers throughout the state that will enable the purchase of new firefighting and ambulance equipment,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I am grateful for the work our first responders do, and how they work so diligently to maintain the safety of our families.”
The Small Equipment Grant Program was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment. This program is an innovative approach to a problem that has long caused difficulties for the fire departments and not-for profit ambulance services in Illinois, particularly those that have hardships in generating the necessary revenue for small equipment. The purpose is to allow eligible applicants the opportunity to purchase small equipment that they may otherwise not be able to purchase.
“The Mokena Fire Protection District (MFPD) recently received grant funding through the OSFM Small Equipment Grant Program to purchase three 800 Mhz portable radios allowing enhanced emergency communications and response while creating a safer situation during emergencies. As resources have diminished for all taxing bodies, it has become increasingly important to seek alternative sources of funding. Without the support of the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Mokena Fire Protection District would not be able to acquire much needed equipment such as these portable radios used to protect the stakeholders of the MFPD,” says Mokena Fire Protect District Fire Chief Howard Stephens.
Most Illinois fire departments, fire protections districts, township fire departments, and stand-alone, nonprofit ambulance service providers were eligible to apply. All fire departments, fire protections districts and township fire department applicants were required to have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for a minimum of two years prior to applying.
“Ensuring that first responders have the equipment they need to operate effectively and safely is a top priority of the OSFM. Most smaller departments and districts struggle financially to replace or upgrade aging equipment. The impending fiscal impacts resulting from the COVID19 crisis make the OSFM’s Small Equipment Grant Program even more critical to help ease that burden,” says Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez.
Area recipients and awards are listed below:
Robbins Fire Department- $25,002
Melvin Fire Protection District- $18,654.05
Braceville Fire Protection District- $21,690
Papineau Fire Protection District- $19,329
Lisbon-Seward Fire Department- $25,500
Emington-Campus Fire Protection District- $26,000
Chatsworth Fire Protection District- $25,350
Forrest-Strawn-Wing Fire Protection District- $25,650
Mokena Fire Protection District- $20,336.37
Steger Estates Fire Protection District- $25,992