SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Fire Departments have a new and better way of purchasing their much-needed fire equipment thanks to a law signed by Governor Rod Blagojevich in June that created the Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program. Today the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is inviting Illinois fire departments to qualify for the nation’s only zero-interest loan program. The $10 million program aids fire departments to purchase new trucks and will focus on the local fire departments most in need of equipment.
In June, the governor signed HB 115, which was sponsored by state Reps. Michael Smith, D-Canton, and Don Moffit, R-Gilson.
Under the new Fire Truck Revolving Loan Fund, local fire departments can help ease their financial cost of buying equipment necessary to adequately run a fire department. Pumper trucks, the type of vehicles used by most fire departments in smaller communities, cost between $200,000 and $250,000 – an amount that is prohibitively expensive for many fire departments.
State Fire Marshal staff worked with members of the fire service and banking communities to write the application and review process for the Revolving Fire Truck Loan program, which will provide zero-interest loans of up to $250,000 to fire departments or fire protection districts for the purchase of new fire trucks. The loans must be repaid at a rate of at least five percent a year for total payoff within 20 years. The loan application review process weighs factors, such as, population served, area covered by a fire department or fire protection districts, age and condition of fire trucks and many other factors to objectively award the loans.
"Not all departments can afford the fire equipment needed to protect their communities," said Fire Marshal Peter Viña. "This unique program gives less fortunate fire departments the ability to purchase the fire equipment they need to do their jobs."