New fire chief “humbled” to accept position

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SAVOY, Ill. (WCIA) — One central Illinois village has a new fire chief. Jason Dillingham accepted the new position as Savoy’s fire chief on Monday, but he’s not new to the area.

Dillingham has been in the fire service for 23 years, but he’s been with the Savoy Fire Department less than a year. Most of his experience comes from the Champaign Fire Department where he’s currently a lieutenant.

He says he has several goals for the department. One of them is having part-time hourly employees in the station every day. Right now, they’re all paid on-call. He’s also hoping for a station expansion eventually.

“We’re very busy in the community. I look forward to stepping that up even more. Our job is prevention and education. We’re here to help people and educate people. That’s a huge step for us, and you’ll see us in the community in a positive manner for here on out,” said Dillingham.

Dillingham says he’s humbled to accept this position. He says he never expected to have an opportunity like this. Dillingham is filling Michael Forrest’s shoes. Forrest retired from the department in July. Interim Fire Chief Lon Pitcher has been taking over duties in the meantime.

Dillingham says his goal is to make Savoy fire the greatest department in the county. He had plans to relocate for a position as fire chief, but he’s happy to have the opportunity to stay at home.

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