Rantoul, Ill. (WCIA).
When Jack Waters joined the Rantoul Fire Department in 1952, he had no way of knowing his three sons and grandson would one day follow in his footsteps.
Today, Jack’s son, Ken, serves as fire chief.
And the Waters family represents one of many legacies present at the fire station.
“There’s a lot of families that are within the department. You know, father, son, grandson, brothers… it’s just a family affair with a lot of comradery,” says Chief Waters.
As a boy, Waters listened to his father’s stories about life on the job. He joined the fire department along with his brother in 1975, nearly a decade before their third brother.
Chief Waters says RFD has seen significant growth since his father served there– department staff has nearly doubled in size from roughly 15 to 33 volunteer firefighters. The station is also home to 10 trucks.
As volunteers, firefighters are paid on call and respond to the station when available.
But when they aren’t serving the fire department, the volunteers work as plumbers electricians, lineman, fuel haulers, and more.
“On a volunteer department you get a lot of different fields,” says Chief Waters, who is also an electrician. “You get to know them all and what they do. It’s pretty neat.”
For information about getting involved with the Rantoul Fire Department, click HERE.