Recently, During The Intense Heat With Temperatures Rising To 100+ Degrees, The Royalton Fire & Rescue Department Was Called To Action. Royalton Has An Awesome Fire & Rescue Department Presently Headed By Fire Chief Mike Hooker.

The Following Information Is Taken From A WSIL-TV News Report By Emily Eddington. We Wish To Extend Our Sincere Appreciation To WSIL-TV And Ms. Eddington For The Excellent Coverage Of This Event.

"WSIL News August 7, 2007

 Firefighters Battle Blaze and Summer Heat

ROYALTON -- The high heat in our area is causing many to be concerned with their comfort and also their safety. One group that knows the dangers all too well is firefighters.

Pair their job with soaring air temperatures, and conditions become especially life-threatening.

"In the past- at least 4 or 5 times- we've had to send firefighters to the hospital because of heat exhaustion," says Royalton Fire Chief Mike Hooker.

He says it's important for his firefighters to know their limits. "20 or 25 minutes really trying to fight the fire and you're about ready to switch out-- carrying all the gear and everything."

Firefighter Daniel Davis says on a hot summer day the department finds strength in numbers.

"It's terrible that's why we try to keep as many people on the fire department as we can, that way we can trade on and off to stay cool-- or try to stay cool. You'd be dead if you had to fight this fire by yourself the whole time," says Davis .

In the case of this abandoned house fire, Hooker cautions residents that if it gets hot enough, moisture in an unused house can become a hazard. "If things get wet sometimes they will just catch fire on it's own."

As for those who have to put it out, staying hydrated and taking frequent breaks can guard against heat exhaustion. That's what these firefighters say is their number one danger this time of year.

Members of the Royalton Fire Department say another recent fire brought many to the point of exhaustion. In that case they're able to call Ziegler for mutual aid.

By: Emily Eddington"


Emergency 911
Non-Emergency 984-2132


Royalton Volunteer Fire And First Responder Department Roster



Royalton Firemen Resting After A Hard Job!

 Shannon Rice, Ronnie Diuguid, and Mike Calvert, after the Walker Restaurant fire in Zeigler.

Above Photo Taken At Royalton Round-Up Parade
September, 2002--Labor Day


Royalton's Addition To Fire & Rescue Equipment

Recently added to the Royalton Fire Department's Fleet of Fire and Rescue Vehicles is a new (used) Rescue Truck. This unit was purchased from the Germantown, Illinois, Fire Department, and was, today, September 25th, 2002, certified by Ms. Sharon Strck of Good Samaritan Hospital, Mt. Vernon, Illinois. The purchase of this vehicle enables the Royalton Fire Department Volunteers to respond to medical calls, while reserving the fire truck for fire or fire related calls.



Above Photos Taken At Royalton Round-Up Festival
September 1, 2003--Labor Day
Fire Engine #701



Although some fire fighting equipment existed prior to 1947, the first new fire truck, a Reo was purchased in 1948 through the efforts of Mr. Mack Pinson. Mr. Pinson was Mayor, and he wanted the mining company to check off the men's checks a contribution toward the fire truck. The mining company frowned on this so he not only stood outside the wash house and collected from the men as they left the mines, he begged money from most of the town. The equipment has always been housed in its current location. A service station on the southwest comer of South Third and Main Streets was then owned by Mr. John LeVan. Mr. Gene Diuguid purchased the service station in 1948, and the fire calls rang into the service station. It seems that with the ownership of the service station came the duty of answering fire calls and running across the street to blow the fire whistle. Mr. Diuguid remembers that the fire truck wasn't much, and the owner of the service station also had to make sure the truck was in operating condition.
The department has always been volunteer, but in the early years the fire department didn't get much attention. Even though there were many more fires, the equipment was
not as sophisticated as it is today, and the volunteers were not as organized. Mr. Diuguid remembers receiving fire calls at the service station and having to ask a
customer or a loafer to watch the station while he went on a fire call. There was a fire chief and an assistant chief and then other citizens came to help when they heard the
fire whistle. Mr. Diuguid's assistant was Mr. Tom Mason.

Being the fire chief required extra time for activities such as attending Coal Belt Association meetings, so after the
mines shut down in 1951, Mr. Mason had more time, and he became the chief and Mr. Diuguid the assistant. At some time during the 1950's, Mr. Bob Pedigo was employed
in his father's garage located next to the service station, and he served as fire chief. Mr. Carl Baggett Jr. bought the service station from Mr. Diuguid in 1962. He was
told that with ownership of the station went answering the fire calls, hence his involvement with the fire department. Mr. Baggett was chief from 1965 to about 1972; the fire chief was paid $15 per month and endorsed the check back to the city. The largest fire he remembers fighting was when the Masonic Hall burned. It was located
on the west side of Main Street near the corner of Main and South Third Streets. Fire fighting equipment was limited and an employee at the service station, Mr. Kenny
Stafko, brought a jacket from the station for him to wear. When the fire was out, he had ice hanging from the jacket.
Mr. Dale Gulley moved to Royalton in 1962 and became active in the fire department in 1963. He has been involved in the fire department since that time, and he served as chief from 1972-77. It was during this period that the Halloween Parade, an annual event sponsored by the fire department, began. The parade started at the fire
station and participants were invited to return to the fire station for coffee, cider and doughnuts. The firemen also sponsored Santa Claus on Main Street for community
children at Christmas time. Gospel sings were held to raise funds to support the fire department and to purchase new equipment. Mr. Gulley remembers that part of those
proceeds was used to purchase five new coats and hats. The upgrading of the fire department began, monitors and a used white 1953 Ford fire truck were purchased. Mr.
Virgil Carpenter followed Mr. Gulley as chief (11/77-10/80).
During Mr. Eddie Buckingham's tenure as chief (12/80 - 5/88), the Fire Department was established as a Department of the Village by an Ordinance passed 02/06/83,
which set forth rules and regulations for its operation. A new Ford fire truck was delivered August 23, 1983, a 1967 Kaiser brush truck was placed on loan to the Village
by the U. S. Forestry Service, training classes taught by U. of Illinois personnel were continued, the insurance rating for the Village was decreased from ten to eight, and Mr.
Buckingham even owned a Dalmatian dog.

Mr. Gary Sanford succeeded Mr. Buckingham as chief in May of 1988. A used 1964 lnternational fire truck was purchased and the old white truck traded and later a 4 WD
emergency support van was made available. Training was increased to weekly. The town was mapped out with hydrants coded by their rate of flow and the tradition of
closing Round-Up (Labor Day celebration) with a fireworks display was initiated with the fire fighters assuming responsibility for collection of funds and setting off the display. . . Gary Motsinger is currently chief, and the volunteers include the following:
Gary Motsinger, Chief; Mike Calvert, Asst. Chief;
Dale Gulley, Safety Officer.

Randy Humphrey
Dave Pierce
Steve Pierce
Shawn Walker

Fire Fighters:
Mike Hooker
Karl Gusentine
John Jackson
William Swain
Seth Knox
Jason Morgan
Steve Swain
Carrie Swain
Alyssa pierce
Gary Swain

Jr. Fire Fighters:
Andrew Pierce
Ronnie Diuguid

This group of photos provided by Ronnie Diuguid~"Thank You".

The current volunteers are very active and upgraded their equipment in September, 1992, with a trade for a 1969 American LaFrance with deck gun and cascade system.
Several have taken vacations from their jobs to attend fire college at the University of Illinois. Urbana, since 1989. They have regular meetings, certified training and
work nights, and they recently spent much additional time remodeling the fire station themselves. An open house was held on April 16, 1993.
Thanks to all past and present fire fighters for your volunteer efforts. You are


PRESIDENT: -----Nicole Guestine
VICE PRESIDENT: ----Diana Walker
SECRETARY-TREASURE:-----Medra Motsinger
This club has about 10 members with hopes to expand someday. The Royalton Ladies Auxiliary helps to aid the Royalton Fire Department. The auxiliary helps with fund raisers and with other community projects.
The auxiliary meets the first Monday of each month. Anyone interested in joining this club should call Medra at 984-2498 or Eileen at 984-4432. All members must be over 18 years old.

Fire Department Members Hold Chili Dinner 1995?

Mike Calvert
Randy Humphrey
David Pierce
Karl Gusentine
Andrew Pierce
Larry Mezo
Ronnie Diuguid
Gary Swain
Steve Swain
Sean Viemum
Steve Reed
Daniel Sullivan
Dale Gulley
James Jarvis
Nicole Gusentine,
Shawn Walker (ESDA



 Thank You to the Royalton Volunteer Dept. for their contribution to this page and to Ronnie Diuguid, a 'Special' Thank You.

 Any information--old or new, photos, badges, etc. can be sent to the following address and will be returned intact.

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