ALTON – Legislation to increase the amount of money a fire department can borrow from the state to finance new equipment has been signed into law.
State Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, who supported the bill, said it was in response to the rising cost of fire protection vehicles. He said departments are best served by having the newest equipment available.
“Unfortunately, many fire departments across southern Illinois lack the resources to purchase this potentially life-saving equipment,” he said.
Senate Bill 2690 increases the amount a fire department can borrow from the Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program from $250,000 to $350,000. These loans are funded in part by fines paid by those who commit serious traffic violations. Repaid loan money is also used to provide additional loans to fire departments in need.
“Firefighters put themselves on the line everyday protecting our communities, so it is important we do everything we can to help,” Beiser said. “Providing cash strapped fire departments with low interest loans is one more way the state can do its part in making sure first responders have the equipment they need to get the job done.”