CHESTER — Wilbur Ellis of Chester recently presented the Chester Volunteer Fire Department with a check for $5,000 through the company's Community Impact Funds Grant.
The money will be used toward buying a thermal imaging camera to help firefighters through smoke and fire-filled structures with the goal of confirming whether all people/animals have made it out of the structure safely.
Jason Wanken, Assistant Chief of the West Liberty County Fire Department, said, "This donation has definitely helped, I want to thank our taxpayers. We're pretty well funded here in Liberty County, but there's always a need for new and better equipment. It always comes with a cost."
Wilbur Ellis is a large contributor to charitable causes in the community; some of the other projects they have contributed to include a new playground equipment for North Star Schools a few years back along with new backboards for basketball hoops in the Fort Benton school gym.
Will Scott works in Agronomy Sales at Wilbur Ellis, and explained, "Wilbur Ellis has been a family business for over a hundred years, and the families take and set aside dollars into the account, specifically for helping the communities that we do business with, and the local branches, like Chester, applies for those dollars to help volunteer organizations, youth groups, or whoever they may be that we feel might benefit from a donation, and we knew that the fire department here in Chester could use some money to purchase some equipment."
He added, "We hope that we can continue to support the volunteer organizations within our communities to give them tools, to help keep our community safe, and also keep the families that we work with safe, and to reinvest dollars into our community to make sure our small communities along the Hi-Line stay viable for the future. We'd like to thank the volunteer fire department for all that they do, all the voluntary organizations in the small communities, they mean a huge amount to the towns. We're very small, not a lot of people here, and we rely on each other to make sure that we stay safe and help each other when there's bad situations."