The Park Forest Fire Department has been selected to receive a grant from the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office in the amount of $22,005 to assist in the purchase of new high-tech portable radios for firefighters.
The funds were awarded through the Small Tool Grant Program, which provides funds directly to local units of government for the purchase of small equipment by a fire department, fire protection district or township fire department.
The radios will be carried by on-duty Park Forest firefighters and utilized daily to communicate with SouthCom Dispatch Center personnel.
“In the world of emergency services and firefighting, being able to communicate effectively is essential when entering structures to control fire quickly and prevent loss of life. These radios will enhance our ability to communicate in emergency and non-emergency situations, providing an additional margin of safety for these responders and the citizens they serve,” said Park Forest Fire Chief Bruce Ziegle.
More area residents stand to benefit for the new portable radios with Park Forest providing assistance to Matteson, Richton Park, University Park and South Chicago Heights through automatic aid agreements.
Of the 389 applications received by the Fire Marshal’s office, 193 fire departments across the state were selected as recipients of award dollars. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced the $4 million dollar fire safety investments February 28.
The grant award is the latest of several grant awards secured by Park Forest Fire Department over the last few years including two grants for the recruitment and training of new members, a training grant for incident management and a grant to fund a firefighter/paramedic position for 28 months.
“The Fire Department is proud of their record for securing grant funding beyond the scope of the Village’s budget. Grant funds allow us to maintain our fiscal commitment to the taxpayers of Park Forest, while supplying our crews with necessary emergency communications equipment,” said Ziegle.