Federal funds fuel fire departments

Local News
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ILLINOIS (WCIA) — It’s Christmas in July for dozens of small state fire departments.

The federal government just gifted each with thousands of dollars to help keep communities safe. They are much needed funds.

Taylorville’s Fire Chief Mike Crews says they have big plans for the $30,000 grant. It’s going straight toward training and new equipment.

The department is no stranger to the grant. Since 2006, it’s received more than $1 million in federal aid. Grant says it helps take the burden off local taxpayers in a time where dollars are hard to come by.

But, they consider themselves lucky compared to other communities which have seen big budget cuts. Money will be used to help serve nearby rural areas. Grant says he couldn’t be more grateful.

The funds can be used for an array of needs from equipment to training and hiring more staff.

Other communities awarded this year include the University of Illinois which got more than $400,000 for the training academy. Decatur received more than $200,000 for equipment.

The federal grant is annual and started after 9-11 when safety issues were brought to the forefront. 

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