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November 15, 2018 • Headline News
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Sunman life squads upgrade


Pictured above several members of the community came out to the Sunman Life Squad’s dedication and blessing ceremony in honor of them getting two new trucks. Jeremy Smith, president of the group, was thankful for the turnout, that included not only members of the squad, referred to as Rescue 20, but the community at large. Their participation and support has been a great asset to the group that is now 30 strong. Here they are simulating the act of pushing the equipment into the building as was done many years ago.

Wanda English Burnett

The Sunman Area Life Squad (Rescue 20) members are proud of their newest endeavor – two new trucks with revamped boxes. The truck engines and chassis are new, and the part where the patient rides, commonly called a box, are upgraded from life squads they already had.

Jeremy Smith, chief of the rescue group, told The Versailles Republican, they basically have two new trucks with remounted boxes. “We just couldn’t do it without the community’s support,” he noted. Rescue equipment is expensive and for years has been hard to come by for small communities.

Smith is not only thankful to the community, but, Father Shaun Whittington, St. Louis, Sunman, was on hand at the event held October 30 to pray a special blessing and dedicate the units to God, and for the best use in the community. It was a special ceremony with Father Whittington leading a large crowd in a prayer that included in part, “God, the just and loving ruler of mankind; kindly hear our prayers, and pour out your blessing on these ambulances.

Whenever this efficient tool is used with lively faith and fervent prayers against the disease and injury, so that no injury befalls the faithful who trust in you, and damage is done to their possessions.”

Father Whittington blessed the ambulances with holy water and asked the community members gathered there to help “house the truck” at the conclusion of the blessing. Not necessarily referring the Sunman squad, he told how years ago when the engines came from a fire, they had been run so hard they were hot. So, later, the community would gather and actually push the units back into the place where they were housed.

The unique tradition was used to show the community’s involvement in the Sunman Area Life Squad and the lives of the people they represent. Those gathered put their hands on the units, simulating pushing them into place. Smith noted they have 32 members and he and Assistant Chief Brian Maynard, are happy with the new equipment, the members, and will continue to help those in need.

Those gathered enjoyed a catered meal and the evening concluded, but not before a call came in for a fire on Interstate 74, which is their territory. That’s how the rescue squads and fire departments live their lives – ready to drop what they are doing with their family and friends, and go to the rescue of someone they don’t know. They don’t mind. It’s what they have signed on to do.

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