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IDNR Awards Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants; McLeansboro Among Recipients

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced 31 Illinois communities will benefit from more than $225,000 in federal grants to rural fire departments and fire protection districts.

The USDA Forest Service Volunteer Fire Assistance federal grant program provides matching funds to aid fire departments in the purchase of new equipment and helps fund training.

“This program is invaluable to rural and small-town fire departments which have limited funding,” said IDNR Director Colleen Callahan. “Helping these fire departments upgrade their equipment not only makes firefighters’ jobs easier and safer, it plays a significant role in protecting residents of rural communities.”

The Volunteer Fire Assistance grant program reimburses 50 percent of the recipients’ costs for providing training and acquiring equipment to assist local firefighters. Grant recipients must make the initial financial outlay for the projects before being reimbursed. The grants announced today are supporting more than $474,000 in equipment for local firefighters.

The USDA Forest Service grant program is administered in Illinois by the IDNR. No state funds are involved.

A list of the 31 grant recipients is below:

• Amboy Fire Protection District: $10,000 for poly tank, pump, monitor, nozzle, valves and sweeps;
• Bellflower Fire Protection District: $8,000 for radios, mics, batteries, desktop chargers and vehicle chargers;
• Clayton Fire Protection District: $9,968 for tanks, portable skid mount pump, hose and test gauge;
• Cuba Fire Protection District: $2,694 for MSA (respirator) bottles;
• Girard Fire Protection District: $4,280 for heavy-duty extractor;
• Goreville Volunteer Fire Protection District: $8,040 for radios and PPE (personal protective equipment) gear;
• Hillsdale Fire Protection District: $9,854 for aluminum booster reel, hose, nozzle, back pumps and bottles w/valves;
• Mt. Hope-Funks Fire Protection District: $8,938 for mobile/portable radios;
• Lake Egypt Fire Protection District: $9,993 for PPE gear, portable radios, water packs and portable water pump;
• Limestone Fire Protection District:  $5,000 for full radio set;
• Lynn Scott Rock Fire Protection District: $9,573 for complete sets of turnout gear;
• Maeystown Fire Protection District: $5,000 for wildland PPE, coveralls, helmets, boots, glovers and floating strainer;
• Manteno Fire Protection District: $2,751 for chainsaw, hose and nozzles;
• McLeansboro Fire Protection District: $9,875 for VHF portable radios and portable speaker microphones;
• Mt. Morris Fire Protection District: $10,000 for sets of SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) bottles;
• Odin Fire Protection District: $4,900 for sets of helmets;
• Oglesby Fire Protection District: $8,128 for wildland PPE, jackets, pants and helmets;
• Oregon Fire Protection District: $5,953 for portable tank, hose, chain saw and fire brooms/hand tools;
• Pleasant Plains Fire Protection District: $10,000 for vehicle repeater/ multi-band portable radios;
• RSP&E Fire Protection District: $5,637 for multiple diameters of hose;
• Sheridan Fire Protection District: $10,000 for SCBA packs/bottles;
• Sublette Fire Protection District: $10,000 for sets of turnout gear/boots;
• Sycamore Fire Protection District: $3,871 for thermal imaging camera, hand tools, nozzles and hose;
• Toluca-Rutland Fire Protection District: $3,796 for hand tools, nozzles, hose and radios;
• Utica Fire Protection District: $10,000 for wireless headsets, base station, radio cable and intercom base;
• Valmeyer Fire Protection District: $8,912 for PPE gear, helmets, SCBA bottles, hose, water pump/tank and hand tools;
• Vienna Fire Protection District: $6,520 for air cylinders/ turnout gear – coats and pants;
• Village of DePue Fire District: $2,419 for trailer and generator/portable light;
• Watson Fire Protection District: $5,124 for multiple diameters of hose;
• Wheatfield Fire Protection District: $10,000 for PPE/turnout gear – coats, pants and helmets sets; and
• Witt Volunteer Fire Department: $5,000 for multiple helmet/pants sets.

Total of grant awards: $225,126

Information on grant opportunities can be found on the IDNR website and on the Illinois Catalog of State Financial Assistance at