Streator fire department seeks 2 grants totaling $405,000 with Congressman Darin LaHood’s support

Congressman met with Streator fire chief, firefighter union president about challenges the department faces

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Illinois) meets with Streator Fire Chief Gary Bird as he tours the fire department on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023 in Streator.

The Streator Fire Department shed light on why a visit Tuesday from its new U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, was important.

LaHood toured Streator’s facility then spoke with Fire Chief Gary Bird and union president Kurt Snow about the challenges faced by the fire department.

LaHood wrote letters of support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for both of the Streator Fire Department’s grant requests, including $105,000 to purchase new mobile radios for all fire apparatus and pagers for each firefighters and $300,000 to purchase a small fire engine that provides the same pump ability in a smaller apparatus that can access smaller roads within the community.

In the last six years, the Streator Fire Department Grant Committee has landed more than $500,000 in federal grant funding, including $113,000 for two cardiac monitors and two automated compression devices, $150,000 for new air packs, a rescue air pack and a fit test machine and $225,000 for new portable radios for each firefighter and EMS provider that allows interoperability between the crews during emergencies.

“The support of local, state and federal elected officials has been vital to the Grant Committee’s success,” the Streator Fire Department said in a press release.

" ... We are very grateful for Congressman LaHood’s support of our federal grant projects,” the department added.

The fire department said former Congressman Adam Kinzinger and Mayor Tara Bedei have written letters of support for previous grant requests, and state Sen. Thomas Bennett, R-Gibson City, and Bedei issued them for this round as well.

Earlier Tuesday, Bird told the Streator City Council during the city’s committee of the whole meeting the fire department would purchase a new cardiac monitor to be used on one of the front-line ambulances. The city took control of providing 911 ambulance service in October, utilizing two front-line ambulances. The fire department has two cardiac monitors that were bought about five years ago with FEMA grant funds. The city budgeted $50,000 for the purchase of the new $45,751 cardiac monitor. One of the used monitors will be kept as a back up.