Durbin Announces a More Than $1.1 Million Investment in Chicagoland First-Responder Capabilities

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded $1,125,195 in grants to fire departments and communities across Illinois. Today’s funding will help support and improve the capability of each department and community to respond to fires and other types of emergencies.


“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 tools possible to do their jobs well, and today’s grants will help meet that goal.”          


The Skokie Fire Department has been awarded $560,631 for hiring initiatives aimed at increasing the number of frontline firefighters.


This funding is provided through the Fiscal Year 2012 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 Fiscal Year 2012, the program will award approximately $320 million directly to fire departments and volunteer support groups to expand the number of firefighters available to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public. 


The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition in Frankfort, Illinois has been awarded $564,564 in funding for safety and operations through the DHS’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.


The AFG Program seeks to strengthen the Nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and fire related hazards. Since 2001, the AFG has provided approximately $5.25 billion in federal funding to first-responder organizations across the country to help purchase response equipment, personal protective equipment, training, and vehicles. In Fiscal Year 2012, the program will award approximately $337.5 million nationwide.