SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Fire Marshal David B. Foreman today announced that nearly $500,000 in grants is now available to help fire departments across the state purchase small equipment and protective clothing that will enable them to better serve their communities. Applications must be postmarked no later than April 30, 2009.
“Local fire departments must have the right equipment to protect the communities they serve when responding to emergencies,” Foreman explained. “I know that many fire departments are faced with tight budgets, and that’s why we continue to look for ways to help these front-line responders.”
The Small Equipment Grant Program was created in October 2006. Under the program, fire departments, fire protection districts and township fire departments can 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. To date, more than 100 Illinois fire departments have received nearly $2 million in state grants under the Small Equipment Grant Program.
Only fire departments maintained by a local unit of government to provide fire suppression within a geographical area are 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.
More information and applications for the Small Equipment Grant Program can be found on the Office of the State Fire Marshal’s website at www.state.il.us/osfm or by calling (217) 785-0969.