Excerpts from wandtv.com:

The deadline to apply for the Illinois Fire Department COVID Assistance Grant has been extended to Friday, August 20.

Governor JB Pritzker and Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez announced an innovative funding opportunity specifically addressing Illinois fire departments impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under this one-time grant opportunity, a total of $1,000,000 will be available to assist approximately 80 impacted fire departments that operate in diverse communities throughout the state.

Eligible Illinois fire departments can receive up to $15,000 in funding to make up for dollars lost due to a lack of fundraising opportunities during the past year.

Fundraising events usually help raise money to pay for necessities like fuel for fire trucks, utilities, and insurance.

“The COVID-19 pandemic really put a strain on fire department budgets across the state but impacted smaller combination or volunteer fire departments/districts the hardest,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “These smaller departments rely on fundraising activities to help keep fuel in their trucks and the lights on in the firehouse. The OSFM is proud to help provide funding to ensure residents in the areas served by these departments know that when they need help, someone will be there.”

In order to be eligible for the assistance grant, the applying fire department must:

  1. Be an Illinois combination or volunteer fire department;
  2. Operate within a jurisdiction with a population at or less than 7,500 people;
  3. Have an approved annual budget at or less than $150,000;
  4. Have an OSFM Fire Department Identification Number (FDID); and
  5. Be current with their National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) reports at the time of application.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) will collaborate with the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA) 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.

The non-general revenue fund is supported primarily by a 1% assessment of the gross fire risk premium receipts of all insurance companies operating in the state.

All grant applications must be received by August 20 in order for them to begin being processed on August 23.

Grant recipients are expected to receive awards by October 2021.

To apply for grant applications, visit the OSFM website.