SUGAR GROVE – The Sugar Grove Fire Protection District has a new fire chief.
Bill Perkins took the reins Thursday after the retirement of Marty Kunkel, who had been the district’s chief for nine years. Kunkel previously had been with the Aurora Fire Department for 27 years.
Before he was promoted by the Sugar Grove Fire District Board, Perkins had been the district’s deputy fire chief.
He has been with the district since November 2012 after being with the Oswego Fire Department for more than 16 years.
Perkins now leads a department of 17 full-time firefighters and 28 paid-on-call firefighters.
“It is a great group of individuals that work both full time and part time,” Perkins said.
The district has a service area of 34 square miles. Perkins said it covers “everything in Sugar Grove Township not within the city of Aurora.”
Perkins said that one of the biggest challenges the district faces is having to run a fire department with limited revenues.
“We have to do as much as we can with the limited tax dollars we have,” Perkins said. “The need doesn’t go away when the economy stagnates. We are trying to continue to meet the needs of the public.”