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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 1999

Nineteen Communities To Receive Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan today announced 19 Illinois rural fire departments and fire protection districts in Illinois will share in more than $76,500 in federal matching funds under the Volunteer Fire Assistance grant program.

"These grants help local, rural fire-fighting agencies expand their capabilities so they can respond to and combat a variety of emergencies, from residential to woodland," Ryan said. "These grants are instrumental in providing equipment, training, protective clothing and other essential items for financially-strapped rural fire departments and fire protection districts in Illinois."

The grants, ranging from $781 to $5,000, will reimburse 50 percent of the recipient's cost for purchasing fire-fighting and communications equipment, converting federal excess vehicles for fire-fighting duties, training, and cost of materials and installation of dry hydrant systems. Grant recipients must make the initial financial outlay for the approved projects outlined in their grant applications before being reimbursed.

Administered nationally by the U.S. Forest Service, the grant program is administered in Illinois by the Department of Natural Resources.

Nationally $2 million was appropriated for the program. Illinois' share, based on the number of eligible communities in the state, was the fourth highest allocation in the nation.

This year's grant recipients were selected from among 75 applicants representing a total request more than $1 million.

During the past 25 years the Department of Natural Resources has administered the program, more than 1,100 grants totaling more than $2.8 million have been awarded to rural fire departments and fire protection districts in Illinois.

A list is attached.



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