The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is coming to the aid of the Kankakee and Pembroke Township fire departments. The two departments will share $2.6 million in grant money.
Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s office announced Pembroke received two separate grants. A SAFER grant will be used to certify volunteers and add 16 firefighters to the department over the next four years. The grant also pays for stipends, turnout gear, insurance, health physicals and certificates for higher learning.
Fire Chief Mark Baines said. "We are excited. This will help us certify our guys and add more to our staff.” Baines said the department needs more community involvement.
The other grant will purchase a new $91,000 brush truck, Baines said will be so valuable in fighting the many brush fire we have in our area.
The Kankakee Fire Department will use the $19,819 to buy a gear extractor and dryer. A gear extractor removes carcinogens from safety equipment after firefighters respond to a fire.