Durbin, Duckworth Announce More Than $150,000 in Federal Funding for Firefighter Resources in Villa Park

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded a total of $ 159,091 to the Villa Park Fire Department through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.  The funding will be used for operations and safety including professional training, wellness and fitness programs equipment, personal protective equipment, modifications to facilities, and supplies that support firefighting and non-affiliated EMS operations and safety.  The AFG Program is administered by the DHS’s Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.

“We must make certain that our nation’s firefighters and first-responders are equipped with the best training and tools possible to do their jobs effectively,” Durbin said.  “The AFG Program helps ensure that when fires or other emergencies occur in our communities, firefighters have access to the resources necessary to protect them and us.  These new, up-to-date alarms and sprinkler systems will be a great asset to the Villa Park Fire Department and the surrounding community.”

Firefighters in communities throughout Illinois risk their lives and run toward danger when others run away. We owe it to them to make sure they have the best equipment and training, and I'm proud to join senator Durbin in helping Villa Park firefighters get the resources they need,” Duckworth said.

“Grants like these allow the Villa Park Fire Department to purchase much needed equipment,” Villa Park Fire Chief Ron Rakosnik said.  “The funding will go toward new fire alarms and new fire sprinkler systems in each fire station that will protect our firefighters and equipment when crews are in the station or out of the station.  The new fire alarm systems will ensure early detection of an incident and notification devices will alert firefighters of an issue in any of our stations.  We thank Senators Durbin and Duckworth for their support of first responders, as well as FEMA, for this much appreciated federal grant.”

Assistance to Firefighters Grants provide first-responder organizations the ability to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles and training in an effort to strengthen the nation’s overall level of preparedness.  Since Fiscal Year 2001, the AFG Program has provided approximately $6.7 billion in grants to first-responder organizations.