State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) is pleased that four communities in his district will receive Small Firefighting and Ambulance Service Equipment Grants as part of this year’s Small Equipment Grant Program announced this week. In Franklin County, both Valier Fire Department and Ziegler Fire Department will each receive $26,000; McLeansboro Fire Department in Hamilton County will receive $25,988.43; and the Carterville Fire Department in Williamson County will be awarded $25,824.76.
“These grants are vital for our more rural areas in Illinois to be able to provide life-saving services to our residents and visitors alike,” commented Rep. Dave Severin. “I encourage other fire protection districts and ambulance services to apply for these grants every year to keep equipment up-to-date and help protect those who protect us.”
One hundred fire departments and nonprofit ambulance services across the state received grants for the purchase of safety equipment, protective clothing, breathing apparatus and other needed tools. The money for this grant comes from the Fire Prevention Fund. The grants total $2.2 million, with each recipient receiving up to $26,000.
“This year we had over 400 fire departments from across the state apply for a grant,” State Fire Marshal Matt Perez said. “The requests for grants totaled over $9 million. We had $2.2 million in funds to award and we ensured that the neediest stations across the state received the money to ensure the safety of the men and women that protect their cities. It is imperative that we continue to find ways to aid the men and women that respond first in a disaster and always put the lives of others before their own.”
This year, research conducted by the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) Research Center led OSFM to evaluate new needs. The research on cardiovascular and chemical exposure risks faced by firefighters prompted the inclusion of gear washers as acceptable purchases in this year’s grant application cycle. Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts, township fire departments, and stand-alone, nonprofit ambulance service providers were eligible to apply. All fire department, fire protection district and township fire department applicants were required to have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for a minimum of two years prior to applying.