The Chillicothe Fire Department was blessed once again with a grant to help them do their job.



U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock  (R-Peoria) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) both recently announced that the volunteer department was awarded a $78,660 grant for bunker gear.


The Chillicothe Fire Department was blessed once again with a grant to help them do their job.

U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock  (R-Peoria) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) both recently announced that the volunteer department was awarded a $78,660 grant for bunker gear.

The money comes from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant, which is a program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Chillicothe Fire Chief John Myers said bunker gear is anything a fireman would wear from his head to his feet.

Chillicothe firemen will benefit from the grant with mainly new fire coats and pants, which cost about $1,500 a pair, Myers estimated.

Between the city and community departments, there are 60-plus volunteer firemen.

“This grant is not going to cover everything, but this is certainly going to help us,” Myers said.

Myers said department officials annually inspect their gear, which will aid them in deciding whose bunker gear needs to be replaced.

He said they are looking at gear that is five years old and has had quite a bit of use in fires.

His set is one of the older ones of the department, about 10 years old, but his does not receive the use that others do actively fighting fires.

“(The National Fire Protection Association) doesn’t want you to wear tacky bunker gear like when I was young,” said Myers of gear that can become ripped or have burnt holes in it with age.

Chillicothe was one of the departments to receive grants totaling almost $1.5 million in Illinois.

The department also received about $130,000 from AFG for new air packs last year.