Springfield – Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez and Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) Executive Director Christopher Meister issued over $9.3 million in no interest or low interest loans to emergency responders across the state, according to a press release. The loans are made available through the Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program and Ambulance Revolving Loan Program.
The Sullivan Fire Protection District received a $278,335 loan.
“The Sullivan Fire Protection District was approved for a 0% loan through OSFM for a new 3,000-gallon tanker, a much needed new piece of equipment. Through the program, our station has been able to purchase a new Ladder Truck and have an ambulance box remounted on a new chassis,” Sullivan Fire Chief Mike Piper said in the release. “Without the Revolving Loan Program, we may not have been able to make the purchases necessary to continue serving local residents.”
“Fire departments throughout Illinois face financial stressors that can make it difficult to properly equip and train their firefighters. These no and low interest loans allow departments to obtain vehicles they may not otherwise have been able to afford. This new equipment will help them serve their communities in a safer, more efficient and effective way,” said State Fire Marshal Matt Perez.
“Our Illinois first responders need working fire trucks and ambulances to save lives, property and keep our communities safe. The members of the Illinois Finance Authority are proud to partner with Governor JB Pritzker, Fire Marshal Matt Perez and local governments throughout our state to ensure that our first responders have the equipment they need while also reducing the cost to local taxpayers,” said Illinois Finance Authority Executive Director Chris Meister.
The Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program (FTRL) and Ambulance Revolving Loan Program (ARLP) are designed to assist departments or cities in purchasing emergency vehicles that they may not be able to otherwise afford. Under the FTRL program, fire departments, fire protection districts and township fire departments may apply for up to $350,000 in low interest or no interest loans for purchase of a fire truck or brush trucks. The loans must be repaid within 20 years.
Under the ARLP program, units of local government (city, town, village, township, fire department, fire protection district) and not-for-profit ambulance service providers can apply for no interest or low interest loans of up to $200,000. These loans must be paid back in 10 years.
“The Woodstock Fire/Rescue District (WFRD) would like to thank the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) for the advancement of a $200,000 loan via the Ambulance Revolving Loan Program,” says Woodstock Fire Chief Michael Hill. “The loan will be used to purchase a 2019 Horton ambulance with Ford F550 chassis, which will replace a current ambulance that has 125,000 miles and 16 years of front-line service. Due to current financial challenges, the purchase of a new ambulance at this time would be extremely difficult if not impossible without the assistance of the Ambulance Revolving Loan Program.”
Chief Hill says, “On behalf of the citizens of Woodstock and the surrounding communities, please allow us to express our gratitude to the OSFM and IFA for helping to keep our communities safe. The interest free nature of the loan also allows us to be fiscally responsible to our taxpayers by saving approximately $50,000 in interest payments over the life of the loan.”