Gurnee Fire Department Receives $229,000 Federal Grant for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Upgrades

For Release: 
Jul 24, 2014

GURNEE, IL – On Friday, July 18th, Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Representative Brad Schneider announced that the Gurnee Fire Department has been awarded a $229,469 grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This grant, part of the DHS’s Firefighters Assistance Grant Program to strengthen the Nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to emergencies, will fund upgrades to the Department’s self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipment. SCBA equipment allows firefighters to enter smoke-filled or hazardous conditions at the scene of a fire without risking suffocation or chemical exposure.

The Village is very thankful to Senator Durbin and Congressman Schneider for securing this grant.  It will cover the cost of needed safety measures for the Gurnee Fire Department personnel and allows us to use our local funds for other pressing needs.  Bringing federal tax dollars back for local investment demonstrates Gurnee’s continued collaboration and strong partnership with all our elected officials for the benefit of taxpayers,” said Mayor Kristina Kovarik.

The Department will use these funds to purchase 39 new SCBA units to be placed at each seated position in the Department’s fleet, including one face piece per firefighter. The new systems will include an integrated firefighter accountability system, which can monitor both the location of a firefighter at the scene of fire as well as the operating condition of the breathing apparatus to identify potential malfunctions prior to an accident occurring.

The DHS grant supplies 90% of the total funding for the equipment upgrades with the Village providing the remaining 10%.

“We are extremely pleased to have received this grant.  It will enable the Department to enhance the safety of our fire personnel with quality equipment that provides future technology and meets national safety initiatives,” said Fire Chief Fred N. Friedl.

He continued, “I would like to thank the Fire Department Grant Committee for their outstanding work with this project." 

The grant proposal was written and submitted by a Fire Department Committee consisting of Deputy Chief John Kavanagh, Battalion Chiefs Robert Heraver, John Skillman and James Pellitteri and SCBA Coordinator Matt Sondej.

For more information on the Gurnee Fire Department and its operations, visit the Village’s website at


Date:               Thursday, July 24, 2014

Contact:          Erik Jensen, Assistant to the Village Administrator

Phone:             847-599-7514