The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) announced Wednesday recipients of the 2022 Small Equipment Grant Program. A total of $2.5 million was awarded to 104 fire departments/districts and EMS providers across the state, a news release says.

The program was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 each for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment. Among the the awards are:

Bureau Fire Protection District- $26,000
Cherry Fire Protection District- $22,909.05

Savanna Fire Department- $25,320

Clinton Fire & Rescue- $24,770

Farmington Fire Protection District- $26,000
Lewistown Fire Protection District- $26,000

Bishop Hill Community Fire Protection District- $19,546.17
Galva Fire Department- $25,100
Kewanee Community Fire Protection District- $26,000

Dowell Volunteer Fire Department- $26,000

East Galesburg Volunteer Fire Department- $25,828
Elba Salem Fire Protection District- $26,000
Maquon Fire Protection District- $16,737.08

Paw Paw Community Fire Protection District- $20,000

“All communities deserve safety, and this program helps ensure our smaller and rural fire districts aren’t left behind when it comes to the tools they need to do their jobs,” said Governor JB Pritzker in the release. “I’m proud to be able to provide more than 100 districts with new lifesaving equipment. It’s another way we can demonstrate our gratitude for all that they do to help their neighbors live safely.” 

The program is an innovative approach to a problem that has long caused difficulties for fire departments and not-for profit ambulance services in Illinois, particularly those that have hardships in generating the necessary revenue for small equipment, the release says. The purpose is to allow eligible applicants the opportunity to purchase small equipment that they may otherwise not be able to purchase. The OSFM received 373 applications, requesting around $8.4 million in funding for this grant period.

“Funding provided from our Small Equipment Grant Program is a huge benefit, especially to our rural volunteer departments in the state. These funds allow departments to purchase important equipment their firefighters/EMT’s need to work more effectively and safely while protecting the lives and property of their community members,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. 

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.