Governor Pat Quinn today joined Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis to announce that a total of 96 fire departments across the state will share $2 million in grant funds to purchase small equipment, protective clothing, breathing apparatus and other tools for firefighters. These Small Equipment Grants are funded through a percentage of all fire insurance sold in Illinois, and are distributed through the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal. The grant awards are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to increase public safety and support emergency responders.
“Our heroes in fire departments across the state, big and small, paid and volunteer, deserve all the help they can get to keep our communities safe,” Governor Quinn said. “These grants will assist 96 fire departments in Illinois to do just that.”
The purpose of the Small Equipment Grant Program is to provide funds directly to local units of government for the purchase of small equipment by a fire department, fire protection district or township fire department. These departments are eligible for grants up to $26,000.
Locally, the DeKalb Fire Department will receive $25,750, the Kirkland Fire Department will receive $23,880 and the Sycamore Fire Department will get $16,614 from this initiative.
“Having the right equipment and tools is essential for first responders,” Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis said. “With shrinking municipal budgets, the Small Equipment Grant Program has evolved into a critical resource to assist local fire departments to acquire basic equipment that meets current safety standards.”
The Fire Marshal’s office received 271 applications requesting a total of $5,581,522 in grant money during this application period, almost three times the amount of grant funding available this year. The Small Equipment Grant committee, comprised of members of the fire service, examined the applications in a blind review, and recommended the $2 million in available grant money to be awarded to 96 of the fire departments who submitted applications.
Please see the this document for a list of fire departments receiving Small Equipment Grants.
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