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Calumet Fire Department to benefit from Gary Sinise Foundation Grant

Photo courtesy of the village of Calumet The village of Calumet will be using grant funds from the Gary Sinise Foundation to replace 20 SCBA air tanks like the one shown above.

CALUMET — The Calumet Village Fire Department is receiving a grant of $22,000 for new Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus air tanks, which are set to expire this summer, according to a release from the village. The grant is from the Gary Sinise Foundation. The tanks, which are used anytime entry is needed into hazardous environments, are soon to expire, and if not replaced would prevent firefighters from being able to adequately complete their duties.

“An expenditure of this size would be a stress on our small village and without it there would be significant risk to the lives of our volunteer firefighters,” Village Manager Caleb Katz said. “We are so grateful for this funding, which requires no match, and will free up our budget to help address other pressing infrastructure issues.”

The Gary Sinise Foundation serves the United States by honoring its defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need, according to the foundation’s website.

“We do this by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities,” the website states.

Since its founding in June 2011, the Gary Sinise Foundation has supported service members, veterans, first responders, and their families all over the world. To provide a more targeted approach to ensuring that the nation’s heroes, and their loved ones, are met with the right resources and services.

Katz said that Jeff Kalcich serves as fire chief for the village of Calumet, because of his desire to keep the community safe and to keep 100+ years of tradition alive. Kalcich feels that maintaining a fire department within the village “is imperative to ensure a quick response time to protect the historical architecture of the village.”

Katz added that Kalcich could not be happier about the generosity of the Gary Sinise Foundation, noting that “these funds lift a huge burden off the village of Calumet and the all-volunteer fire department.”

The idea to apply for the grant came from Katz, who was looking for funding options for the replacement of fire separtment equipment. The Foundation funds these types of requests to honor the sacrifice of the nation’s first responders, and ensure they are able to perform to the best of their abilities, said Katz.

The Gary Sinise Foundation was established under the philanthropic direction of a 40-year advocate for the nation’s defenders, actor Gary Sinise. Each of the Foundation’s programs originated from Sinise’s personal relationships with the nation’s service community and a wide range of nonprofits he had supported for decades. Ever aware of the gaps of care these deserving heroes often encounter, he was inspired to serve them, states the website. With the creation of the Gary Sinise Foundation, his crusade now supports all those who sacrifice on behalf of the United States: active duty, veterans, first responders, and their loved ones. Each program shows appreciation for America’s heroes through entertainment, family support, and acts of gratitude.

An Illinois native, Senise, age 66, more significant acting roles include Lt. Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump (1994), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor; Harry S. Truman in Truman (1995), for which he won a Golden Globe; Ken Mattingly in Apollo 13 (1995) and Detective Jimmy Shaker in Ransom (1996).

Sinise has appeared in other films including The Green Mile (1999) and Impostor (2002). On television, he has played Detective Mac Taylor in the CBS series CSI: NY (2004-13), and George C. Wallace in the television film George Wallace (for which he won an Emmy). From 2016 to 2017, Sinise starred as Special Agent Jack Garrett in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. He is a supporter of various veteran organizations and founded the Lt. Dan Band; they play at military bases around the world.

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