“Our nation's firefighters are called upon day after day to protect America's citizens,” Durbin said. “As these brave men and women put themselves in harm’s way, we must ensure that they are equipped with the best resources possible to do their jobs well and that fire departments have enough trained firefighters. I will continue my efforts to help secure these important funds for Illinois fire departments.”
This funding is provided through the Fiscal Year 2009 DHS’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. The SAFER program seeks to enhance a department’s ability to maintain 24-hour staffing and ensures that the community has adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. In 2008 award year, Illinois received 16 awards – totaling over $5.8 million in federal funding to hire and recruit additional firefighters. In FY2009, the program will award approximately $210 million nationwide in competitive grants to fire departments and statewide or local firefighter interest groups.