Several area fire protection districts and first responder services received a portion of $3.5 million for Small Equipment Grants from the Illinois State Fire Marshall’s office. A total of $3.5 million was awarded to 154 fire departments/districts and EMS providers. The OSFM received 540 applications, requesting around $12 million in funding during this grant period.
The Small Equipment Grant Program was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment. The program allows smaller fire departments and not-for profit ambulance services in Illinois, particularly those that have hardships in generating the necessary revenue for small equipment, be able to purchase equipment they need to operate. Illinois State Fire Marshall Matt Perez said in a press release that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more difficult for smaller departments to purchase essential equipment due to the fiscal hardship brought on by the pandemic.
Most Illinois fire departments, fire protections districts, township fire departments, and stand-alone, nonprofit ambulance service providers were eligible to apply. All fire departments, fire protections districts 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.
The following groups received the following amounts from the program:
Arenzville Fire Protection District $26,000
Chapin Area Rescue Squad $15,975
Murrayville-Woodson EAS $12,072.20
Woodson Fire Protection District $26,000
Griggsville Fire Department $24,000
Pleasant Hill-Spring Creek EMS $20,614
Spring Creek Fire Protection District $26,000
New Berlin-Island Grove Fire Protection District $21,694
Pleasant Plains Fire Protection District $26,000
Winchester EMS $13,200