Excerpts from the Daily-Journal.com:

On Tuesday, the 12-man Pembroke Fire Protection District learned it received $346,159 in federal funding through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. It was one of eight Illinois fire departments, including Kankakee, to received federal funding totaling $2.6 million.

Pembroke received two separate grants. A SAFER grant will be used to certify volunteers and add 16 firefighters during the next four years. It also pays for stipends, turnout gear, insurance, health physicals, and certificates for higher learning.

“We want to get more community members involved in our fire department,” Fire Chief Mark Baines said. “We are excited. This will help us certify our guys and add more to our staff. It will prepare them if they ever want to pursue a full-time job as firefighters.”

The other grant will purchase a new $91,000 brush truck. It will be the first new brush truck the department has ever had.

Earlier this year, one of the department’s brush trucks got destroyed in a fire. Neighboring departments have since assisted the department in rebuilding its 25-year-old brush truck, which blew out an engine a few years ago.

“We’ve been trying to get a new brush truck for four years,” Deputy Chief John Sokol said. “We’ve been fighting brush fires with equipment that’s 10 to 25 years old. This will be big for us. Once we get that old truck back, we’ll have two trucks to deploy.”

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