SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $1.9 million in no-interest loans to help fire departments and fire protection districts purchase much-needed fire trucks. This is the second phase of a loan program that has already helped 63 fire departments obtain new fire trucks.
“Firefighters depend on trucks and equipment to respond to their communities in emergencies,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “This program has already helped more than 60 departments get new fire trucks, and now we’re making more money available to help even more fire departments buy the equipment they need.”
The Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program, administered by the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM), provides no-interest, 20-year loans to local fire departments and fire protection districts for the purchase of fire trucks. The maximum loan award is $250,000. The loan program was created by legislation signed by Gov. Blagojevich in 2003.
Applications for the loans are available on the OSFM website at www.state.il.us/osfm
. The agency also will mail applications to each fire department in Illinois. Applications will be accepted from Feb.1 through April 15. A nine-member review committee comprising representatives of the banking industry and the fire services will review the applications. Loans will be awarded on the basis of need.
“Many fire departments in the state struggle to get by with very limited budgets and usually have little or no money for large purchases like fire trucks,” said State Fire Marshal David Foreman. “These loans can help them get a new truck they otherwise couldn’t have afforded, and that truck will help the department serve the residents of their community for many years.”
In August 2004, 63 fire departments were selected to receive the initial revolving loans. Payments on those loans go into the revolving loan fund, and will be used for this second round of loans.