EAST ST. LOUIS – State Senators Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) and Rachelle Aud Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) are urging local fire departments impacted by the pandemic to apply for relief grants.

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“The brave men and women on the first line of defense risk their lives every day and continued to do so during the pandemic,” Belt said. “I’m pleased to see funds being spent on our firefighters who protect our communities.”

A total of $1 million will be available to assist approximately 80 impacted fire departments that operate in diverse communities throughout the state. Under this one-time grant opportunity, eligible Illinois fire departments could receive up to $15,000 in order to make up for lost donation revenues stemming from their inability to host local fundraising events during 2020. These fundraising events pay for necessities like fuel for fire trucks, utilities and insurance.

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“This funding supports our first responders who lay their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” Crowe said. “The smaller fire departments rely on funding for essential materials and these grants will benefit those that were impacted by the pandemic.”

The Office of the State Fire Marshal will collaborate with the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association to 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.

All grant applications must be received by Aug. 13. Grant recipients are expected to receive awards by October.

To learn more about eligibility requirement and apply, people can visit the Office of the State Fire Marshal’s website.

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