8/22/2013 3:00:00 PM Governor Pence comes to Vevay to present grant to Switzerland County EMA
Indiana Governor Mike Pence came to Switzerland County last Wednesday morning to present Switzerland County Emergency Management Agency with a check for $4,000.
The check is a grant that will assist emergency services in the community, particularly Jeff-Craig Fire and Rescue.
The Governor came to the community on a beautiful August morning, and as he entered Vevay he was met by school students lining State Road 56 in front of their schools; and many businesses took time to come outside and welcome him to the community.
Turning up Ferry Street, Governor Pence was greeted by a large contingent of students from all of the county schools; and the Switzerland County High School band was on hand for some special music. Joining the Governor in Vevay was State Representative Randy Frye, along with other state emergency officials.
Connie Wallace, interim director of Switzerland County EMA, welcomed everyone to the ceremony; and her husband, Rick Wallace, offered prayer for the occasion.
State Representative Randy Frye opened the event with some remarks. A career firefighter, Representative Frye knows firsthand how important having adequate emergency services is to a community.
"My passion for the fire service is marrow deep," Representative Frye said. "I started out as a young firefighter 26 years ago, and was privileged to serve 26 years in the fire service, retiring from the Indianapolis Fire Department in 2010. I can tell you today that if you cut me I bleed fire engine red. I love the fire service."
Representative Frye said that he serves as the chairman of the veterans affairs and public safety committee in the Indiana House of Representatives.
"That gives me another opportunity that I have, as a public servant, to see to it that police, fire, EMS, and veterans in our community and in our state are looked after," he said. "The fire cannot tell whether you're paid to be there or a volunteer, and we need to protect all of you. It is my honor to do just that."
Randy Frye then introduced Governor Mike Pence.
"Thank you for a wonderful welcome to Vevay and Switzerland County. It's great to be with you," Governor Pence said.
He was joined in Vevay by Indiana Director of Homeland Security John Hill; and also by Jim Greeson, the Indiana State Fire Marshal.
"We're here about some serious business today," the Governor said, "And it's going to be my honor to lend my signature to a grant that has been authorized by the people of Indiana and by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to this extraordinary volunteer fire department."
He said that the funds for the grants from the Office of Homeland Security comes from the sale of the "Secure Indiana" license plates, which is designed to promote the future of emergency services in the state by promoting response capabilities and responder safety, among other things.
He said that the Jefferson-Craig Volunteer Fire Department was receiving the maximum award that a local community award that is available through the program.
The grant is in the amount of $4,000.
"I want to assure all of the citizens who are gathered here, that it represents an unqualified full endorsement of the grant application that was made here and of the extraordinary courage that is demonstrated by the men and women of this department each and every day," the Governor said.
"Switzerland County EMA and the Jefferson-Craig Volunteer Fire Department are being recognized here today, and they're being recognized because of their extraordinary professionalism and because of the role that they play in so many different areas in this community," Governor Pence continued. "The Emergency Management Agency has helped in a broad way including school safety kits in each classroom, providing each classroom with the necessary resources that they need. We are making sure that when we drop of kids off in the morning, every parent, every grandparent, can be confident that our schools are safe for our children and the EMA and this department have been full partners to make sure that our kids are safe."
He concluded his remarks with some personal thoughts on the bravery of firefighters.
"We are supporting through this grant award emergency operations in this county," Governor Pence said. "But make no mistake about it...but the turnout today probably has less to do with the Governor and more about men and women who you had the opportunity to thank. Today we pay a debt of gratitude to those who each and every day say that your life is more important than theirs. May these resources provide them with the training and the background and the communications capabilities to be able to do their job for our families in the days ahead, and then come home safe to theirs."
Governor Pence congratulated EMA Director Connie Wallace for her dedication; and she took the opportunity to honor George Adams who served as the EMA Director here while the grant was written, but who recently resigned from that post.