Photo: Sugar Grove Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Parson (left) shakes hands with Chief Marty Kunkel after he is presented with an award for 40 years of service. Photo by Kimberly Anderson
by Chris Paulus
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Fire Department on Jan. 6 held a surprise party for Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Parson in honor of his 40th year working for the Fire Protection District.
The party took place at the Sugar Grove Municipal Building and was open to his family and friends, as well as the public.
Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkel, who was present at the ceremony, said about 75 people attended the event. Wayne was headed to the Fire Department for training when he encountered the surprise party.
“We had some cake and ice cream for him, and a little award ceremony. We invited his friends and family. He was extremely surprised. His wife knew about it too,” Kunkel said.
Kunkel also spoke about his professional and personal relationship with Parson. The two have known each other since Kunkel was Aurora’s fire marshal.
“I’ve been here for about eight years. When I came in, Wayne was assistant chief. He was instrumental in my development in learning about the history of the Fire District,” Kunkel said.
Wayne is also involved with the Sugar Grove Fire Prevention Bureau.
“We perform building inspections in the area and we help public schools and (Waubonsee Community College) with their fire prevention presentations and demonstrations,” Parson said. “We’re involved anytime the schools do anything regarding fire safety or prevention, really.”
The bureau also helps out with Fire Prevention Week with the other communities, including Elburn and Kaneville. The next big event for the bureau is the Health and Wellness Fair in the Waubonsee’s Academic and Professional Center.
“We work with some of the hospitals from the area. We go over smoke detectors and other general protocol to make your house safer,” Parson said.