By Ang Gilchrist
Their fluorescent yellow T-shirts were easily visible around the ball fields of Rushville during the recent Wellnitz Fire as they hustled and bustled to get the job done.
The ten members of the Golconda Job Corp from southeastern Illinois made the long journey to Nebraska to help serve the fire camp. The group was experiencing their first active fire, according to crew boss, Trent Commer. “This (most likely) will be their one and only fire they will participate in during their time at our Job Corp before they graduate”, said Commer. He said it was a great learning experience for the kids and one they would remember for a lifetime.
Some of the Job Corp members’ duties included preparing and serving the fire crews a hot breakfast and supper, packing and distributing sack lunches, handing out bags of ice, and maintaining a clean camp. But the ten member crew went above and beyond the call of duty when they joined forces to put a fresh coat of paint on the concession stand and bathrooms. When painting was first mentioned, Commer admitted that he thought it was a joke, but with the contribution of paint and supplies by the City of Rushville and Mayor Heiser, the team had quickly turned the dingy concession stand into a sea of vibrant white, blue and orange.
The Golconda Job Corps Center is located in the foothills of the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois. Like area job corps, the center is a no-cost education and technical training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that provides 16-24 year old youth the opportunity to improve their life skills so they can further their education and gain employment in today’s society.
The community would like to extend a special Thank You to the Golconda Wildland Fire Camp Crew for a job well done during the Wellnitz Fire.
By Ang Gilchrist