Davis Announces State of the Union Guest
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today announced that Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews will be his guest to President Trump's State of the Union Address on February 5th. Chief Crews was instrumental in the emergency notification and disaster recovery efforts when a tornado struck Taylorville on December 1, 2018.
"Chief Crews undoubtedly saved lives that day," said Davis. "When he learned of the weather and the storm approaching our hometown, he made all the right decisions that resulted in zero fatalities and fewer injuries than what would have happened otherwise. After the fact, he and his team were able to begin the long recovery process immediately, with many working through the night, to keep people safe. I cannot thank him enough for all he did that day, all he has done to help Taylorville recover, and all he does every day to keep our hometown safe. I am honored to have him join me for the State of the Union this year."
The tornado that hit Taylorville was an EF-3 tornado and one of 28 to touch down throughout the state, the largest one-day December outbreak in Illinois since 1957.
In the storm’s aftermath, there were 155 fire fighters on scene along with 15 ambulances. There were 21 injuries were reported, three which were life-threatening, and no fatalities. 695 homes and businesses were affected. Davis also pitched in to help residents the day after the storm. Recovery efforts, led by Chief Crews, are ongoing and estimated to take about two years.
Chief Crews' Story
Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews, who is also the Christian County emergency management director, made many crucial decisions on December 1st that saved lives. Chief Crews decided to cancel the Twilight Christmas Parade in downtown Taylorville once they learned of the approaching tornadoes. He also ordered a second round of tornado sirens, which is typically against policy, in order to alert people and give them a final warning of the tornado emergency.
Additionally, Chief Crews had firetrucks and firefighters relocated to a part of town that was not in the path of the storm so that they would not be damaged and be available to help recovery efforts immediately. Chief Crews and other firefighters began to help residents and clean up the damage as soon as the storm cleared. A firefighter on his team worked all night to help others even when his home was destroyed.