FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2004
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich unveiled plans to put more State Fire Marshal officers on the frontlines. In fact, the Fiscal Year 2005 State Fire Marshal budget increases the number of frontline positions by 28 percent. The new frontline positions will include more fire prevention inspectors, arson investigators, and boiler and pressure vessel inspectors. As a result of this enhanced inspection force, the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) will inspect approximately 10,000 additional sites.
The OSFM budget, recommended by the Governor, is $14.78 million, up from $13.3 million last fiscal year. The increase reflects additional resources in fire prevention, fire investigation and services. The FY05 proposed budget also includes $700,000 for firefighter training, double last year’s funding. This money will be directly reimbursed to municipalities and fire protection districts for training expenses.
“The FY05 increases represent a clear commitment to the public safety of the people of Illinois,” said Fire Marshal Peter F. Viña, “The additional funds will have a direct impact on the safety of the average person through increased site inspections and better trained firefighters.”
Key initiatives included in the Office of the State Fire Marshal budget include:
· Increases in the number of frontline inspectors and investigators
· Doubles appropriation for firefighter training reimbursement
· Additional $250,000 for Chicago Fire Department Training Program
· New program for Fire Chiefs training
· Consolidation of OSFM Petroleum and Chemical Safety division into the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
“By ensuring public safety through fire prevention, public education, and firefighter training OSFM has helped reduce loss of life and property through fire,” said Fire Marshal Viña, “This year’s budget will further enables OSFM to ensure public safety through additional inspections, training and education programs.”