Congresswoman Robin Kelly announced yesterday that the Kankakee Township Fire Protection District and the Pilot Township Fire Protection District were each awarded federal grants from the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program.
“I’m very pleased that two fire protection districts have obtained funding to purchase emergency equipment that will enhance the safety of our firefighters and save the lives of others,” Congresswoman Kelly said.
Pilot Township will use its $114,858 grant to purchase breathing apparatuses, or air packs, which were last purchased by the department nearly 20 years ago.
“The Pilot Township Fire Protection District would like to thank everyone involved for the Fire Department receiving the $114,858 grant,” said Pilot Township Fire Chief Alan Ramsey. “The grant will be used for the purchase of 18 new SCBA air packs with spare bottles.”
The Kankakee Township Fire Protection District will purchase cable/rescue reels with the $20,953 grant it received.
“First we’d like to thank retired Chief Steve Spraker for his work in obtaining the grant,” said Kankakee Township Fire Chief Frank Hasik. “This grant will be used to outfit our front line engine with new extrication equipment such as electric reels for the tools that assist us in vehicle crashes and large machinery accidents. This equipment will assist in rapid, easy deployment of the extrication tools to complete any extrication task quickly and efficiently.”
In the spring of 2013, Rep. Kelly and Senator Dick Durbin announced the awarding of a $332,000 federal grant to the Bradley Fire Department in Bradley, Illinois. In addition, a $362,000 federal grant was awarded to the Manteno Community Fire District in Manteno, Illinois. The towns of Bradley and Manteno are located in the county of Kankakee.
In June of 2014, Rep. Kelly announced that the Homewood Fire Department was awarded a $1.8 million federal grant that benefited 18 south suburban fire departments. The monies assisted 18 communities in the purchase of portable radios, increase training and improve the safety of our firefighters.
Earlier this year, the Manteno Community Fire Protection District was awarded a three-year federal grant to support the hiring of additional firefighters. The $425,000 multi-year grant will pay for the salaries, benefits and pensions of three firefighters over a three-year period.
The Richton Park and Riverdale fire departments, each awarded federal grants from the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program earlier this year. Richton Park used its $135,620 grant to purchase emergency breathing equipment for firefighters. The Riverdale Fire-Rescue Department purchased firefighting helmets with the $4,286 grant it received.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grants program is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The purpose of the grants is to enhance the ability of fire departments and other emergency management organizations to protect the health and safety of the public as well as that of first-responders.