Local Illinois fire departments awarded grant money for new equipment

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An equipment shed was the starting place of a large fire Friday evening in Clark County, IL

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday that $3.3 million has been awarded to over 140 different fire departments and EMS providers across the state.

The money will be coming from the the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s 2021 Small Equipment Grant Program. The OSFM said it received 448 applications totaling $10.5 million in requests for this grant period.

“First responders put their lives on the line every single day to do the critical work of protecting Illinois’ communities,” Pritzker said Thursday. “On behalf of all Illinois residents, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to first responders for the work they do.”

Included among these recipients is the Martinsville Fire Protection District in Clark County, which will receive $26,000, and the City of Olney Fire Department in Richland County, which will receive more than $25,000. The maximum amount of money a department could receive was $26,000, OSFM said.

The grant money will be used to purchase new firefighting equipment and emergency service tools. Oftentimes, departments do not have the extra funding necessary to buy small equipment that will improve their work, according to an OSFM news release.

“Departments have had to make tough financial decisions, especially this year during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez said. “Ensuring our first responders in Illinois have properly functioning lifesaving equipment they need to perform their duties safely, while protection their communities, is our top priority.”

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