Governor visits Wabash Valley Town

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was in Sumner Illinois to present a grant.

Posted: Aug. 23, 2018 5:55 PM

SUMNER, Ill. (WTHI) - Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's stop on Thursday afternoon marks one of the first times a governor has visited the small Illinois town. As he addressed the crowd, one thing rang out, supporting those who keep the community safe.

Rauner explains, "Many of the larger towns with wealthier districts can afford to get the latest technology. Many communities are just too small. They can't afford it. But they all deserve to have the best. So we're trying to get this program expanded and we're honored to do it here."

The state funds the small equipment grant. The money is a big deal for this small town fire department.

Fire chief Brent Perrott says, "The Christy Fire Protection District covers 168 square miles. We're in three counties. We currently rely on two fire departments for rescue extraction."

The district plans to purchase extraction equipment similar to the jaws of life. Perrott says this is important considering their location.

Perrott says, "We have US Highway 50, US Highway 250, many county highways. In the spring and fall, the county township roads are utilized greatly by the farming community."

Increase traffic means increased risk in accidents. Having a district so large means it is critical for a fire department to have its own equipment.

Perrott says, "By having this equipment here, greatly reduces response time and will ultimately save lives."

It's something the governor understands is difficult for small communities.

Rauner says, "The challenge is that these are small communities and the service area is very large. So that requires traveling long distances. So that's why it is even more imperative, more critical that they have the latest equipment."

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