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By Cynthia Haggitt
Danny Boirum, retiring President of the QEM Fire Protection District Board of Trustees, was honored by Don Little, Jersey County Board Chairman, volunteer firefighters, the QEM Auxiliary and the QEM Board of Trustees at a retirement dinner held in his honor on Saturday, Dec. 11. Chairman Don Little expressed his gratitude for all the volunteers in the fire district and throughout Jersey County that support their communities.
Boirum was appointed to the QEM Fire Protection District Board of Trustees in 1998. Shortly after his appointment, the Board started working toward consolidating three fire stations in Dow, Elsah and Grafton into one new fire station and upgrading all the equipment. The new fire station and burn tower was completed in October 2002, and under Boirum’s leadership, the $1.2 million mortgage was paid in full in July 2019.
Equipment has been continually upgraded throughout Boirum’s 24-year tenure with the needs of the QEM volunteer firefighters always of first consideration. Boirum was responsible for negotiating the Board’s latest 2021 purchase of a 2015 brush truck that had never been used before QEM took ownership of the truck.
“The interesting story behind this truck is that this is not a brand new truck,” QEM Fire Chief Gerry New said. “This truck had never seen a fire until we picked it up. The price was negotiated by Danny Boirum and he got the truck’s price dropped considerably while at a convention in Springfield, Ill. They got to talking and because QEM had been talking about replacing their other brusher unit he mentioned that QEM might be interested. So they started talking back and forth about the truck and we got it for a good price.”
The truck arrived in showroom condition with the “new” smell and replaced a 1997 model. During the last three years, the District has replaced a brush truck, two pumpers and donated a third pumper to the Fieldon Fire Department without incurring any new debt for the taxpayer.
Boirum’s greatest contribution to QEM is the way he has managed the budgeting process and funding of station operations. Major upgrades in the fire station land, building, equipment and protective gear for firefighters has taken place throughout his tenure.
Today, the District has one outstanding loan in the amount of $22,000 and is saving for future needs. This is due largely to the leadership Boirum has provided the QEM Board of Trustees. He has committed himself to providing QEM firefighters with the best maintained and equipped fire and rescue equipment. Boirum has done an outstanding job to ensure that the District’s taxpayer dollars were spent wisely.
The Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts (IAFPD) awarded him a certificate for “Outstanding Service” and presented him with a 24-year service pin. The QEM Fire Protection District awarded him a plaque for “Distinguished Service,” and is deeply indebted for his many contributions.