Durbin Meets with Illinois Fire Chiefs, Announces More Than $156,000 Investment in Illinois First-Responder Capabilities

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded $156,217 in grants to fire departments and municipalities throughout Illinois.

Today, Durbin also met with the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, led by Executive Director and retired Orland Fire Protection District Fire Chief Robert Buhs, to discuss the importance of these grants, fire safety issues, and the group’s priorities for the upcoming year. A photo of today’s meeting is available here.

“Our nation's firefighters are called upon day after day to protect America's citizens not only by responding to fires and other emergencies, but also by promoting fire safety and helping teach us how to prevent fires in the first place,” Durbin said. “Today, I was pleased to welcome the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association to Washington. As these brave men and women put themselves in harm’s way to protect their communities at home in Illinois, we must ensure that they are equipped with the best tools possible, and today’s grants will help meet that goal.”      

The funding is provided through the DHS’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program which 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.


Under this announcement, the Illinois Fire Inspectors Association based in Mount Prospect, Illinois will receive a $30,000 grant for fire prevention.

The following fire protection agencies will receive funding for operations and safety:

  • Toluca Fire Protection and Ambulance District $67,545 in funding;
  • Hull-Kinderhook Fire Protection District: $58,672 in funding.


A number of attendees at today’s meeting represented fire departments and municipalities that have received funding through the AFG program already this year, including: Addison Fire Protection District: $197,775 in grants; Pleasantview Fire Protection District: $72,390 in grants; and Palatine Rural Fire Protection District: $10,450 in grants.