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Small fire departments get grants for equipment purchases

64 smaller departments across the state that may not get regular revenue were awarded grants for firefighting and ambulance equipment.
Credit: Firefighter Montreal - stock.ado

COLONA, Ill. — Several area fire departments will be purchasing new gear after benefitting from grants issued by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal.

The recipients were announced Friday, March 3, with a total of $1.5 million awarded to 64 fire departments and EMS providers across Illinois.

The program provides funding to smaller departments that may "have hardships in generating the necessary revenue for small equipment."

The following departments within the News 8 viewing area were awarded grants:

Henry County:
Clover Township: $19,542
Colona Fire Protection District: $8,568

Knox County:
Rio Township Fire Protection District: $26,000

Lee County:
Amboy Fire Protection District: $26,000
Compton Community Fire Protection District: $26,000

Mercer County:
Rivoli Fire Protection District: $25,993

Whiteside County:
Prophetstown Fire Protection District: $26,000

In the release from the OSFM, the Colona Fire Department states it plans to use its grant to buy a thermal imaging camera. 

“As we all know, volunteer fire departments all around the state are struggling to maintain a safe work environment due to the lack of funding. The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Small Equipment Grant Program has provided us the opportunity to purchase a thermal imagining camera we desperately need that will help keep our firefighters safe,” Colona Fire Chief John Swan said.

The need was evident, as the office received 296 applications asking for around $4.5 million in funding. The applicants were required to have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System for a minimum of two years prior to applying. 

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