Will, Grundy firefighting agencies receive $139,586 to buy equipment

A firetruck pumps water from a nearby hydrant to fight the blaze on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at the 900 block of East Benton Street in Morris, Ill. Over 40 homes in the area have been evacuated after an industrial building caught fire late Tuesday morning.

Six firefighting agencies in Will and Grundy counties received about $139,586 in state grants for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment.

The firefighting agencies in Will and Grundy counties were among 165 government agencies in Illinois to receive grant money from the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office. The office provides the money through its Small Equipment Grant program.

The office announced the recipients of the grant funding on Friday.

In Will County, about $67,486 was awarded to the Lockport Township Fire Protection District, Steger Estates Fire Protection District and the Manhattan Fire Protection District.

In Grundy County, $72,100 was awarded to Braceville Fire Protection District, Verona-Kinsman Fire Department and Mazon Fire Protection District.

In a statement, Illinois State Fire Marshal James Rivera said their office continues to “see and hear about the need and understand the issues fire departments face when it comes to funding across the state.”

“I am proud this year we were able to increase our grant funding to $4 million, a $2.5 million increase from last year, which has allowed us to award over 100 more departments money to purchase lifesaving tools they might not have been able to afford otherwise,” Rivera said.

Most firefighting agencies and nonprofit ambulance service providers are eligible to apply for grant funding from the Small Equipment Grant program. Firefighting agencies are required to have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System for at least two years before applying.