Fire district gets much needed grant money

TOLONO, Ill. (WCIA) -- One volunteer fire district needs money to replace old expired equipment and thanks to a grant, that's going to happen.

Volunteer fire departments like Tonolo Fire Protection don't get much tax money, so they rely on grants like this to be able to stay open. Illinois American Water is donating more than 75 thousand dollars to departments across the state, and Tolono is one of them. It's for one thousand dollars and the fire protection district says they need that money to replace the old equipment.

It costs around 30 to 40 thousand dollars to replace all of their equipment and they're going to have to do that in the next two years. So this grant was the first step to help them pay for it.

Money is limited for them because unlike a non-volunteer fire department they don't have regular tax money coming in.

"Any additional money we can get outside the money we gain from our tax base is a huge help because for a volunteer fire department, funding is limited. Any additional funds to help increase equipment and those types of needs is very beneficial."

And some people in Tolono will be getting free smoke detectors thanks to a grant from Kidde Fire Safety. The Tolono fire protection district got 25 of them to give out to anyone in town  who needs one. If you fit the bill, you can call the district or find them on facebook. They'll bring it to your house and install it for you.

The Tolono volunteer fire department hasn't raised taxes to pay for it since they started in the early 90's. So grant money is crucial for them to keep up to date with their equipment and get their trucks rolling to put out those fires.

Also, it's fire prevention week. Smoke alarms play a key role in that. But if your home does catch fire, officials in Tolono say to make sure to have a meeting place for everyone, practice fire drills with your kids, and replace your smoke detectors every ten years.


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