pexels pixabay 36031 rThe Office of the State Fire Marshal has opened the application period for the Small Equipment Grant Program. All interested departments should send an application to the OSFM, applications must be postmarked no later than October 22, 2021. OSFM will award $2.5 million to eligible fire departments and ambulance services during this application period.

The Small Equipment Grant Program was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment. A total of $3.3 million was awarded to 149 fire departments/districts and EMS providers across the state in June.

Fire department, fire protection districts and township fire department applicants are required to have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System for a minimum of two years prior to applying. The OSFM will require departments to be current through June 2021 for this grant period.

Learn more about the grant here. Apply here.

Email the State Fire Marshal's office with any questions or concerns.

Category: Press Releases

01122021HAO0858 rSPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) that would waive trapping license requirements for disabled veterans, returning service members and those who are terminally ill was signed into law Friday.

“Our servicemen and women have sacrificed so much for all of us, and it is our duty to do anything we can to show them that we remember and appreciate that sacrifice,” Koehler said. “This is one small way we can make their lives easier.”

Senate Bill 1533, an initiative of the Illinois Trappers' Association, would issue free trapping licenses to the terminally ill, disabled veterans, and returning service members. This would permit these populations use designated devices to remotely catch game animals. The legislation also allows an electronic copy of an existing license to be shown on a phone or mobile device in lieu of a paper copy.

The law will go into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

081721CM0252 rSPRINGFIELD – Penicillium rubens, a strain of penicillium discovered in Peoria, will officially be Illinois’ state microbe thanks to legislation sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), signed into law Tuesday.

“The discovery of penicillium rubens in Peoria saved countless lives during World War II, and has saved many since,” Koehler said. “By making it our official microbe, we ensure that the story of P. rubens will be intertwined in our state history for generations to come.”

Penicillium was initially discovered by Scottish physician Alexander Fleming in 1928, and was found to be very effective in treating bacterial diseases. However, the drug was difficult to distribute on any large scale because it was not easy to produce. During World War II, there was a push to find a strain of the bacteria that could be quickly reproduced and distributed.

Penicillium rubens was discovered on a cantaloupe from a grocery store in Peoria, Illinois, and the fungus isolated from this cantaloupe produced several hundred times as much penicillin as Fleming's original cultures. This discovery allowed doctors and scientists to mass-produce penicillin in large enough quantities to distribute to the general public at the time, to Allied soldiers during WWII, and to countless individuals in the almost century since.

"When we look to our future as a state, it is proper to honor our past. Penicillium rubens was discovered in Peoria at our National Agriculture Utilization Laboratory and paved the way for Penicillin to improve health outcomes all over the world through the twentieth century. Life expectancy was lengthened worldwide because of this momentous work. If that is not a milestone worthy of recognition and hometown pride, then I certainly don't know what is," State Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) said.

P. rubens will officially become the state microbe on January 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

FOID signing 2 rAURORA – A longtime advocate of giving responsible gun owners a more modernized approach to obtaining firearm identification, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) championed a law to streamline the FOID card process while keeping guns away from people who pose a threat to themselves or the community. 

"Responsible gun owners across the state have been fighting a backlog of FOID card applications for years," Koehler said. "When the Illinois State Police has to spend time and resources on addressing the backlog, they aren't able to appropriately prioritize keeping our communities safe from gun violence."

Under the new law, the FOID card renewal process will be expedited for safe and responsible gun owners in an effort to reduce hassle and prevent future backlogs. Lawful gun owners will additionally find it easier to keep their FOID cards and concealed carry licenses on them at all times through a new electronic option that will be made available for both documents.

"The law signed today streamlines the FOID card process for lawful and responsible gun owners in Illinois while closing loopholes that allow firearms to fall into dangerous hands," Koehler said. "Today is the first step toward having a safe and effective FOID system here in Illinois.”

Click here to listen to audio from the signing event.

House Bill 562 was signed into law Monday and will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
323B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

Peoria Office:
400 NE Jefferson, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 677-0120