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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) today announced the application period is open for the Small Equipment Grant Program. The OSFM will award $4 million to eligible fire departments and ambulance services for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment. All interested departments should send an application to OSFM electronically or postmarked no later than December 15, 2023. The Small Equipment Grant Program was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 to eligible departments. A total of $1.5 million was awarded to 64 fire departments/districts and EMS providers across the state in March.
This program is an innovative approach to a problem that has long caused difficulties for the fire departments and not-for-profit ambulance services in Illinois, particularly those that have hardships in generating the necessary revenue for small equipment. The grants allow eligible applicants the opportunity to purchase small tools and equipment that they may otherwise not be able to purchase. In addition to firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE), applicants can also apply for personal infection control items such as masks, gowns, and gloves this application cycle. Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts, and township fire departments are eligible to apply. In addition, stand-alone, not-for-profit ambulance service providers are eligible to apply.