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  • Small fire departments can tap new state fund to buy trucks

    GALESBURG, Ill. - Saying firefighters "capture the spirit of America," Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation Tuesday to help small fire departments buy up-to-date equipment.

    The new law creates a $10 million revolving loan fund. Departments will be able to tap into it for interest-free loans of up to $250,000. The loans must be repaid within 20 years.

    Rep. Don Moffitt, R-Gilson, who helped pass the legislation, said small fire departments are struggling to afford new trucks, which can cost anywhere from $250,000 for the most basic kinds to nearly $850,000.

    Blagojevich signed the bill at a Galesburg fire station, sitting next to a 1957 firetruck still being used in the little town of Williamsfield.

    He praised firefighters for playing "a special role in our communities. They do more than fight fires. They capture the spirit of America."

    Lawmakers pushed for the revolving fund after a series of hearings around the state at which firefighters complained that small departments were falling dangerously behind in equipment and training.

    State fire officials have said that over 80 percent of Illinois is protected by volunteer fire departments that are struggling financially.

    Moffitt said the $10 million will be enough to aid about 40 fire departments, although many more need assistance.

    "It's a tremendous first step. That's all it is - a first step," he said.

    Blagojevich is on a three-day tour of small northwestern Illinois towns.

    During a visit to a Monmouth restaurant, a man calling himself Russell Carlton the Singing Trucker serenaded Blagojevich on the accordion with a song he wrote for the occasion. Carlton, of Oneida, sang:

    "He's really here on business

    He'll sign a bill today.

    So wish him all good wishes

    and send him on his way."

    Later, in Aledo, Blagojevich signed legislation allowing special hunting seasons to target deer populations with signs of chronic wasting disease.

    Joel Brunsvold, director of the state Department of Natural Resources, said deer hunting and related tourism pump millions of dollars into the Illinois economy, so it's important to keep the state's deer healthy.


    has anyone else seen this story this past week and if so is anyone else thinking about taking it up. We are hoping to apply in order to replace 2 mid-50s pumper with a new Rescue/Pumper. Maybe the good Gov. should have came here to sign the bill into law


    code_blue81
    Jeremy Culver
    IACOJ Bureau of EMS

    These views are my own and do not represent the views or opinions of anyambulance service that I am affiliated with.

    Help our fellow firefighters.
    www.helpingourown.com
    "Firefighters Helping Firefighters"

  • #2
    Just don't get your hopes up too high. With 10 million, that'll be 40 or 50 trucks for the whole state and unless the state comes up with more money next year, repayments will only get us 2 or 3 more each year. It's a good deal, but the state will have to come up with some extra money every year for a while.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

    Comment


    • #3
      just a ?

      Wouldn't it be a better deal to survey all the depts that need
      a pumper,get them all together, Have everyone agree to one set
      of specs and bid them out in a batch of 40 or what ever number
      they come with,to lower the costs?
      I know that not everybody is going to agree on the specs,But
      if you are running pumpers from the 50's and 60's and are desperate
      for a new unit,Something has to give with a limited amount of money.
      Good Luck to those who apply,And remember there is no such thing
      as a free lunch.

      Comment


      • #4
        Captain Hammer..That would make too much sense.
        IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

        Comment


        • #5
          One happy company and many many angry ones
          FTM - PTB

          Comment


          • #6
            This is what i know. Don got 10 mil seed money for this year. His goal is 50 mil spread over 5 yrs, this should make it self supporting. Good program for those trustees willing to borrow.At 250000 it will save about 95000 over 20yrs.

            Comment


            • #7
              I realize that it's not "free" money. But at least there is no interest to drive up the cost.
              And I can honestly say that this program will definitely get alot of attention when the FIRE Act grant program goes away.....and it will go away. That is to say that the feds will take the money and RE-ALLOCATE it.
              The only problem with buying fire apparatus in advance is that some communities need ladder trucks, others engines and some will need tankers. Notice that I didn't say brush trucks.
              Anyway, it is a good start. At least Illinois is planning. Others will wait until the money from FIRE Act is gone and THEN worry about it.
              Illinois is number one.
              CR
              Visit www.iacoj.com
              Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
              RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

              Comment


              • #8
                How true. Talk about apparatus, can you believe how much FIRE grant money has gone for trucks already? Maybe we should have gone for those trucks this year.
                Every silver lining's got a touch of grey...I wiilll get by....


                Proud to be IACOJ Flatlander Division

                Comment


                • #9
                  You're right, cap, maybe we should have tried for our truck again. Oh, well, we ended up with one, just have to pay for it that's all. I've heard that a dept. down by us is getting some money for SCBA and stuff this year, after they got money for a tanker last year ($190,000). Don't get me started again.
                  Jack Boczek, Chief
                  Ashley Community Fire Protection District

                  FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thats nice that he signed the bill but I would like to know when he is going to unfreeze our money that was promised for our Tower. We still have not heard anything. We got 550,000 for 2 new Eng that are not even being built yet and the city sold one of our front line Engines so we are running a reserve piece of @@@@.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jay; the kissin' has paid off!

                      I just wanted to let my fellow flatlanders know that I have been invited to join the rules-making committee for the zero interest loan program for fire trucks. I believe that my name was given to the state fire marshal by our state representative, Don Moffitt. I have not confirmed this as of yet. I KNOW it's not from anything that has been written here!
                      If any of you have some thoughts that you would like to include in these meetings, please contact me.
                      The first meeting is Monday, Aug. 4th. I will be there.
                      Did anyone else get an invite?
                      Maybe we could car pool.
                      Let me know.
                      CR
                      Visit www.iacoj.com
                      Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
                      RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Congratulations Art.
                        Sure is nice to have someone who actually knows what needs to be done and what the needs of the fire departments in Illinois are. At least if things go wrong we will have
                        someone to blame.

                        My opinion is the departments should show a NEED for assistance in purchasing a truck, not just a want, otherwise the big city departments with a lot of political pull will have all the money tied up and the small rural departments that really need the money will left behind again. Priority should be replacing the old unreliable pumpers and tankers that many of our brothers are using as front line equipment.
                        Proudly serving as Vice-President of the Illinois Delegation of the IACOJ

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          80, I agree. The need has to be demonstrated, not only on paper, but in person. Have the committee visit each department that applies and see for themselves what is going on. Look at their financial records. That'll keep a department that has no trucks older than 88, with 150,000 budget from getting money just because they don't have a tanker. Never mind that they don't really need it. And they won't get money for equipment the next time, when they can buy it themselves without any problem to their bank account. A dept. down here did this the past 2 years.
                          BUT, they must have the ability to repay the loan. That's the only way to keep the program going.I understand it's a revolving loan fund which will be funded by repayments. What do you do when they don't make payments? Take the truck back? No way. Have to make sure they have the resources to make the payments every year. Just my opinion.
                          Jack Boczek, Chief
                          Ashley Community Fire Protection District

                          FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks Les and Jack!

                            Les and Jack:
                            That is exactly the types of comments that I'm looking for. I hope that others will get me something by Monday, because I am riding with my state representative to Springfield. That will give us TWO hours alone to talk about the loan program.
                            Try to get ahold of some of your compadres and have them post here or email me directly at [email protected].
                            I want this to be a program that will be used but not abused. I agree that there should be work on the part of the departments requesting funds.
                            And I can assure you that POLITICS will have no part in this program....if I have anything to say about it.
                            Hey, as an aside; have you noticed that after 8 rounds, Illinois has only been awarded TWO trucks? An engine and a brush truck? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Something's fishy!
                            Get those comments coming.
                            CR
                            Last edited by ChiefReason; 08-02-2003, 09:10 AM.
                            Visit www.iacoj.com
                            Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
                            RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              CR, you know my thoughts. Hrs of training is an a must. Say while your with Don,work on that grant were soppose to get, would have been nice last week, when we didn't have power for 22 hrs

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