State offers interest-free loans to
purchase emergency equipment
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[November 17, 2008]
SPRINGFIELD -- Continuing to ensure that
Illinois provides immediate response during emergency situations,
Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich is urging emergency responders in Illinois
to apply for $14 million in state loans dedicated to help purchase
fire trucks and ambulances. Earlier this year, the governor signed
legislation to provide millions of additional dollars to assist
needy departments through the state's unique Fire Truck Revolving
Loan program and the Ambulance Revolving Loan program.
"These programs have helped nearly 100 departments purchase fire
trucks so that they can better respond to their communities,"
Blagojevich said. "Now, we're making more money available to help
more departments buy the equipment they need during emergencies."
The Fire Truck Revolving Loan program, administered by the Office
of the State Fire Marshal, provides no-interest, 20-year loans to
local fire departments and fire protection districts for the
purchase of fire trucks. The maximum loan award is $250,000. To
date, the program has loaned out nearly $12 million to communities,
including Beardstown, Peoria Heights, Sheffield, Lansing,
Merrionette Park, Sparta, Worth, Chester, Kankakee, Robbins,
Mendota, Golconda, Germantown and Fairbury.
The Ambulance Revolving Loan program was created by the governor
in 2006 to assist emergency personnel purchase vehicles they
otherwise couldn't afford. Under the program, zero-interest loans
are provided to fire departments, fire protection districts or
nonprofit ambulance services for the purchase of ambulances. The
loans are available for amounts up to $100,000 and can be repaid
over a 10-year period.
Surplus money from the Fire Prevention Fund was transferred into
the Fire Truck Revolving Loan Fund and the Ambulance Revolving Loan
Fund after Blagojevich signed
Senate Bill 775 last spring. The
programs also benefit from loan repayments, which go back into the
revolving loan funds and are used for additional loans.
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"It's important to stress that this transfer of funds will in no
way affect the Fire Prevention Fund and its designated purpose. The
surplus money has been sitting unused for more than five years,"
Illinois State Fire Marshal David B. Foreman explained. "We are
definitely putting this money to good use."
Applications for the loans are available at
and must be postmarked no later than Dec. 19.A nine-member review
committee comprising representatives of the banking industry and the
fire services will review the applications. Loans are awarded on the
basis of need.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]