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Another $1.2 million in federal grants awarded to five South Suburban fire departments


Congresswoman Robin Kelly announced recently that five additional south suburban fire departments will receive federal grants totaling more than $1.2 million.

This is the third round of grants awarded to south suburban fire departments. This latest round brings a total of $3.2 million in federal funds to 19 south suburban fire departments.

“These federal funds help fill the budget gaps that so many of our local municipalities experience on a regular basis,” Congresswoman Kelly said. “Every cent of the $3.2 million will go directly toward the protection of our citizens, our communities and the health of our brave firefighters.”

Fire Departments in Homewood, Calumet City, South Chicago Heights, Grant Park and Manteno were the most recent recipients of FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. These grants will be used to purchase equipment and hire new firefighters.

The Homewood Fire Department received a $537,517 grant that will be used to hire three additional career firefighters.

A $565,419 grant awarded to Calumet City will also fund the hiring of additional officers, according to Mayor Michelle Qualkinbush.

A $26,666 grant awarded to South Chicago Heights will be used for a community risk reduction assessment that can be stored online for instant access by first responders.

Chief Scott O’Brien of the Manteno Fire Department said the $53,809 grant the village was awarded will purchase a rescue squad that will transport rescue equipment to accident sites.

Grant Park Fire Protection District was awarded an $80,952 grant for a ventilation system to remove toxic diesel exhaust from its fire station, according to Fire Chief Rich Shronts.

Since early September, Congresswoman Kelly has announced federal grant awards to fire departments serving Chicago Heights, Homewood, Steger, Flossmoor, Calumet City, South Chicago Heights, South Holland, Grant Park, Manteno, Phoenix, Limestone, Steger and the Crete Township Fire Protection District. Other fire departments benefitting from the awards include Glenwood, Hazel Crest, Park Forest, Matteson, Riverdale and Thornton.

The purpose of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is to strengthen the nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. During Fiscal Year 2018, AFG made $315 million directly available to fire departments, state fire training academies and non-affiliated EMS organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, emergency vehicles and training. Read more.

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