$500,000 Ready for Illinois Fire Departments' Clothing, Equipment

Fire departments in Illinois have until April 30 to apply for nearly $500,000 in grants to buy small equipment and protective clothing, Illinois State Fire Marshal David B. Foreman announced April 1. Applications must be postmarked no later than April 30.

"Local fire departments must have the right equipment to protect the communities they serve when responding to emergencies," Foreman said. "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." Illinois began its Small Equipment Grant Program in October 2006. Fire departments, fire protection districts, and township fire departments can apply for grants up to $26,000 for purchasing items such as turnout coats for firefighters, firefighting tools, and extrication equipment. More than 100 Illinois fire departments have received nearly $2 million in state grants from the program.

To be eligible, fire departments must have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System for at least the past two years and must be maintained by a local unit of government and provide fire suppression within a geographical area. For more information and applications, visit the Office of the State Fire Marshal's Web site or call 217-785-0969.

Departments that applied for a grant in FY2008 but received no money do not need to submit a new application unless they want to edit their 2008 applications. Any department that received grant money in FY2008 is ineligible for this year's grants.

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