First responders work tirelessly to help everyone stay safe. The Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) Foundation is once again supporting these vital agencies through its Rewarding Responders Grant. Emergency response agencies can apply for a grant now through June 15.

The WPS Foundation will award $50,000 in grants to help public safety agencies receive lifesaving equipment or training. Last year, these grants helped nearly 30 agencies receive important safety tools such as automated external defibrillators (AEDs), communication headsets and insulation for water rescue suits.

Since 2014, the WPS Foundation has provided more than $400,000 in grants to nearly 230 public safety agencies across northeast and north central Wisconsin.

“This generous grant equipped one of our primary response vehicles with an AED to protect, not only those we serve, but also our members, as cardiac events are the No. 1 cause of death for firefighters,” said Ed Janke, fire chief — Howard Fire Department. “Thank you for showing your support for all first responders.”

“This grant has meant a lot to our department, as it has helped protect our firefighters and aided the health of our community,” said Tom Behnke, fire chief — Coleman Fire Department, whose department received a 2021 grant for new firefighting face masks. “Grants from organizations like the WPS Foundation are very important to us. We’re thankful for their generosity.”

Applying for a grant

Emergency response agencies are eligible to receive a grant if they:

  • Operate in the WPS electric or natural gas service area.
  • Did not receive a grant in 2021.
  • Complete an online grant application.
  • Demonstrate the equipment or training they will acquire is part of a well-planned effort to improve public safety. Grants also can be put toward unique, safety-related projects that are one-time efforts.

A limited number of grants of up to $2,000 are available to eligible departments. Interested agencies can apply or learn more about the grant here.