EFD receives roughly $237,000 of federal grant to upgrade technology


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

A firefighter participates in a first responder training. The Evanston Fire Department received roughly $237,000 of a federal grant awarded to 16 area fire departments.

Rishika Dugyala, In Focus Editor

The Evanston Fire Department received roughly $237,000 of a federal grant awarded to 16 area fire departments that will provide upgrades to equipment and systems, according to an Oct. 11 city news release.

The overall $1.4 million grant was given by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. It will improve the safety of hundreds of thousands of residents and firefighters in Evanston and surrounding communities, the release stated.

Fire departments will receive upgraded radio equipment to facilitate cooperation among first responders, and the departments will be able to implement Motorola’s APX system to track responders real-time and dispatch resources more efficiently.

“I’m proud of the Evanston Fire Department’s outstanding leadership in securing this grant,” Mayor Steve Hagerty said in the release. “This advanced technology will enhance the already strong partnership that exists between local fire departments in our area, improving public safety throughout the region.”
According to the release, EFD and other participating departments will donate a combined $144,021 in matching funds, increasing the total project amount to over $1.5 million. However, due to ongoing discussions with FEMA, the grant amount could change.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) wrote letters in support of the fire departments’ grant application.

“All of us depend on firefighters for safety and these funds will give them the resources they need to protect us,” Schakowsky said in the release. “I am proud to have played a part in ensuring that federal dollars could meaningfully benefit communities here in Illinois.”

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