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Ill. fire departments receive federal grants

CHICAGO — Six fire departments across Illinois will split nearly $300,000 in federal grants aimed at improving response to fires and other emergencies.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced the grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Durbin says the funds will help ensure firefighters are equipped with "the best possible tools to do their jobs well."

Since 2001, the grants have provided about $5.25 billion to first-responder organizations. The money has been used for training, vehicles and to help departments purchase personal protective equipment.

Among the Illinois departments receiving funds this year are Westchester Fire Department in suburban Chicago, LaSalle Fire Department in central Illinois and the Elkville Fire Department, in the southern part of the state.

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