Illinois Governor Announces Fire Safety Investments

Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis today announced a $4 million investment to help 193 fire departments across the state purchase safety equipment, protective clothing, breathing apparatus and other tools for firefighters. These small equipment grants are supported by a small percentage of the sales of all fire insurance sold in Illinois. The grant awards are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure the safety of people in every community across Illinois.

“The heroic firefighters across the state deserve all the help they can get to keep all Illinois residents safe,” Governor Quinn said. “These investments can help make the difference in life and death situations in communities throughout Illinois.”

The Small Equipment Grant Program provides funds directly to local units of government for the purchase of small equipment by a fire department, fire protection district or township fire department. These departments are eligible for grants up to $26,000.

“First responders need to have the right equipment and tools,” Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis said. “This grant program is a critical resource in these tight municipal budget times. The funds help local fire departments acquire basic equipment that meets current safety standards.”

The Fire Marshal’s office received 389 applications requesting more than two times the total amount of grant funding available this year. The Small Equipment Grant committee, comprised of members of the fire service, examined the applications in a blind review, and recommended the $4 million in available grant money to be awarded to 193 of the fire departments who submitted applications.

The following area fire departments are receiving Small Equipment Grants:
Jasper County-Wade Community Fire Protection District, $8,256; Clark County-Casey Fire Department, $7,585; Crawford County-Oblong Township Fire Protection District, $26,000; Cumberland County-Neoga Fire Protection District, $15,552; Richland County-Olney Fire Department, $10,620.

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