Nearly 200 Illinois fire departments will share $4 million in state grant money to help them purchase first-responder equipment.
Gov. Pat Quinn and state Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis announced the grants for 193 departments. The money will be used to purchase safety equipment, protective clothing, breathing apparatuses and other tools.
Quinn says the grants can make the difference between life and death in the communities.
The money comes from a small percentage of the sales of all fire insurance sold in Illinois.
Departments are eligible for up to $26,000 grants.
The fire marshal’s office received 389 applications requesting more than double the money available. Each application was examined in a blind review by a committee of fire service members.