Governor JB Pritzker and Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez today announced an innovative funding opportunity specifically addressing Illinois fire departments impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $1,000,000 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. 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) is pleased to collaborate with the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA) who will 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, a non-general revenue fund that 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 13, 2021. The application review process will begin on August 23, 2021 and end on September 3, 2021. Grant recipients are expected to receive awards by October 2021.Grant applications can be found by visiting the OSFM website at: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/sfm/CurrentFocus/Documents/Fire%20Department%20COVID-19%20Assistance%20Grant%20Application.pdf.