Gov. JB Pritzker announces $1M in COVID-19 grants for IL fire departments


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WREX) — Illinois first responders set to receive much needed financial help from state leaders.

A total of $1,000,000 will be available for approximately 80 Illinois fire departments impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor JB Pritzker and Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez announced the new funding Friday, June 25.

Under this one-time grant opportunity, eligible Illinois fire departments could receive up to $15,000 to make up for lost donation revenues stemming from their inability to host local fundraising events during 2020.

“Our firefighters are the first line of defense when our communities are in danger. That’s a heroic obligation, and a great responsibility,” said Governor Pritzker. “COVID-19 impacted the ability of dozens of fire departments across the state to raise critical funds that normally help cover essential work materials. I am pleased to announce this $1 million in funding to support the brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving others.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic really put a strain fire department budgets across the state but impacted smaller combination or volunteer fire departments/districts the hardest,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “These smaller departments rely on fundraising activities to help keep fuel in their trucks and the lights on in the firehouse.

In order to be eligible for the assistance grant the applying fire department must:

1) Be an Illinois combination or volunteer fire department;
2) Operate within a jurisdiction with a population at or less than 7,500 people;
3) Have an approved annual budget at or less than $150,000;
4) Have an OSFM Fire Department Identification Number (FDID); and
5) Be current with their National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) reports at the time of application.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is pleased to collaborate with the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA) who will create a special committee to review the grant applications utilizing a blind review needs-based analysis.

The OSFM will facilitate and directly oversee the distribution of the grant awards to the recipients.

This grant is financed through the Illinois Fire Prevention Fund, a non-general revenue fund that is supported primarily by a 1% assessment of the gross fire risk premium receipts of all insurance companies operating in the state.

All grant applications must be received by August 13, 2021. The application review process will begin on August 23, 2021 and end on September 3, 2021.

Grant recipients are expected to receive awards by October 2021.

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