Pictured are 6 of the 10 RFD firefighter who received new turn out gear, l-r: Rachel Atkinson, Assistant Chief Kevan Eddleman,
Bobby Turner, Justin Rose, Chaplain Greg Love, and Chief Andrew Atkinson.
Ten firefighters received $26,000 worth of new turn out gear
The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) announced the recipients of the 2023 Small Equipment Grant Program. A total of $1.5 million was awarded to 64 fire departments/districts and EMS providers across the state. The program was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 each for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment.
Rosiclare Fire Department received $26,000. Rosiclare Fire Chief Andrew Atkinson told the Independent that they were able to purchase ten new sets of turn out gear with the grant money. Turn out gear included helmets, jackets, and pants. These items last roughly 10 years. With 25 volunteer firemen who serve for the department, Atkinson said these grants are vital. He said they are applying for more grants to get air packs, a compressor, and new radios.
The Small Equipment Grant 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 purpose is to allow eligible applicants the opportunity to purchase small equipment that they may otherwise not be able to purchase. The OSFM received 296 applications, requesting around $4.5 million in funding for this grant period.
“The OSFM continues to remain committed to our mission of helping departments and districts purchase essential firefighting or EMS equipment that will help not only their members to stay safe, but continue to provide lifesaving services to their communities,” said Acting Illinois State Fire Marshal Dale Simpson. “Budgets remain tight, and the cost of firefighting equipment continues to rise, that is why programs such as our Small Equipment Grant are a great resource, especially for our smaller and rural volunteer fire departments across the state.”
“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,” said Colona Fire Chief John Swan.
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.
Some Southern Illinois county grant recipients and awards are listed below:
Rosiclare Fire Department- $26,000
Goreville Fire Department- $26,000
Olmsted Fire Department- $26,000
Ellis Grove Volunteer Fire Department- $25,800
Village of Evansville Fire Department- $25,837.62
Ware-Wolf Lake Fire Protection District- $22,775
Stonefort Fire Department- $25,615
Published in the August 24, 2023 Hardin County Independent.
Subscribe to the Hardin County Independent! 50 issues per year. $36 per year if you live in Hardin County. $38 per year if you live elsewhere. $31 for e-Edition subscription.
Call 618-287-2361 or visit www.hardincoindependent.com