BELLEVILLE, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois American Water has selected over 90 Illinois fire departments throughout their service area as recipients of the 2022 Firefighter Grant Program.

Since the program was created in 2010, over 860 grants totaling over $856,000 have been awarded to fire and emergency organizations. This year, the grants awarded total over $96,000.

“We know how important water is in protecting homes and businesses. We also understand resources to our local heroes can run short. This is why we approved every grant we received in full this year, supporting our heroes in a meaningful way.” said Justin Ladner, Illinois American Water President. “The departments will utilize these funds to keep our customers and communities safe in emergency situations.”

The program awards grants to provide personal protective gear, communications equipment, firefighting tools, water handling equipment, training materials and classroom programs.

Local grant recipients in Central Illinois include Lincoln Fire Department, Lincoln Rural Fire Department, Mt. Pulaski Fire Department, City of Pekin Fire Department, Bartonville Fire Department, Chillicothe Community Fire Protection District, and Peoria Fire Department.

The firefighter grants are being announced in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9- Oct. 15, 2022, to raise awareness about the importance of fire prevention and emergency planning.