Illinois Fire Chief Association names Rockford’s Derek Bergsten 2020 chief of the year

It’s the first time in 40 years a chief from the Stateline has won the award.
Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 6:04 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten earns the title of Illinois’ top fire chief.

“It’s incredibly humbling for myself to be recognized by the Illinois Fire Chiefs for the work that we’ve done here in Rockford, and it really recognizes the people we support everyday,” said Bergsten.

The Illinois Fire Chief’s Association picked Bergsten pointing to his accomplishments and leadership.

“He’s been a very proactive individual from my dealings with him over the last ten to twelve years which trickles down to the service that is being provided on the streets to the citizens,” said Harlem-Roscoe Fire Chief Don Shoevlin.

Some of Bergsten’s accomplishments include the replacement of a full fleet of engines within four years and initiating mobile integrated healthcare. But, he says the award is team effort.

“This isn’t about me it’s about the fire department, and all the members out there providing the safety and the service to the citizens of Rockford every single day,” said Bergsten.

It’s been nearly forty years since a Stateline fire chief has won the award and Bergsten says it feels good to recognize the hard work of the department.

“We have a great organization here that represents the fire service not only in the state, but in the nation and we’re going to continue to do that high level of performance and work to serve the citizens,” said Bergsten.

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