Excerpts from rrstar.com:

When former fire Chief Phil Foley got hurt on the job, veteran Firefighter Jerry Wiltfang was handed the chief’s responsibilities. He had been with the agency for less than a month as an assistant fire chief, but he had more than 30 years of service with the Rockford Fire Department and also had served as the emergency operations director for the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office. Since February, Wiltfang has been acting fire chief, managing the volunteer fire department of about 35 active firefighters and an annual budget of about $750,000. His salary will be $86,000 a year.

On Monday, aldermen gave him a unanimous 10-0 vote of confidence by authorizing his appointment as full-time chief.

He persuaded the city council to give the department about $500,000 more per year, about $200,00 of which will go toward starting a day crew. As of Oct. 1, three firefighters will staff Station 1, 400 Grand Ave., from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wiltfang also helped forge a partnership with the North Park Fire Protection District in Machesney Park to help both agencies respond to calls more quickly and share resources. The firefighters are receiving training to become emergency medical technicians.

Foley retired Aug. 20. after 53 years on the job. He joined the Loves Park Fire Department in 1965, was appointed volunteer fire chief in 1981, and full-time chief in 1999.