Cherry Valley Fire Chief retires after 44 years

Published: Jun. 23, 2016 at 9:57 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Cherry Valley Fire Chief Craig Wilt is calling it a career after 44 years with the department.

The 62-year-old has lived in Cherry Valley his whole life, serving not only half a century as a firefighter with the village but also a quarter century as a village police officer.

Thursday, Chief Wilt got to celebrate with the community at a retirement open house at the Cherry Valley Fire Station.

“I don’t know if it’s really sunk in yet. Still trying to learn how to relax. I’m still wound a little tight. Still get up around 5 o’clock every morning and I expect in due time that will start keying down a bit,” says Wilt.

Wilt followed in the footsteps of his father who served as a volunteer firefighter for 48 years. He tells us the biggest event of his career was the 2009 Canadian National Train Derailment and chemical fire.