Area fire departments receive state grants

SPRINGFIELD—Rockford Fire Department will receive $18,580 and Freeport Rural Fire Department will receive $15,000 in grants awarded by the state June 4.

The local fire departments are among 54 fire departments throughout the state that will receive a combined nearly $1 million to help them purchase small equipment and protective clothing that will enable them to better serve their communities.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said: “Local fire departments need to have the right equipment to protect the communities they serve. This grant program and our no-interest fire truck loan program, which has assisted more than 60 departments in purchasing new fire trucks, help these departments provide critical public safety services in their areas.”

Last October, Blagojevich announced the Small Equipment Grant Program, under which fire departments, fire protection districts and township fire departments could apply for grants of up to $26,000 for purchasing items such as turnout coats for firefighters, firefighting tools and extrication equipment. Larger items, such as fire trucks and other vehicles, are not eligible under this program, which is administered by the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM).

Applications were reviewed by a committee appointed by the State Fire Marshal on the basis of equipment and financial needs of each department, with preference given to requests for equipment that will benefit a geographical area.

Only fire departments maintained by a local unit of government to provide fire suppression within a geographical area were eligible for the program. In addition, departments receiving grants must have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for at least the past two years.

from the June 13-19, 2007, issue

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