Posts Tagged Cherry Valley fire chief retires

Cherry Valley Fire Protection District news

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Rockford Fire Department Division Chief Joe Corl has announced he will be retiring in January and will be taking over as fire chief for another Stateline community.

Corl will be accepting the position of fire chief for the Cherry Valley Fire Protection District in neighboring Cherry Valley.

Corl has served on the Rockford Fire Department since March of 1989, most recently serving as the Division Chief of Operations. He will retire from his position in Rockford on January 27, 2017 and assume his new duties in Cherry Valley on January 30.

District Chief Michele Pankow, who has served on the Rockford Fire Department for over 24 years, has been named as the new Division Chief of Operations. Chief Pankow will take over full responsibilities for the position on February 3, 2017.

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Cherry Valley Fire Protection District news

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A contract for fire chief was offered Friday by the Cherry Valley Fire Protection District, Gary Maitland, president of the district’s board of trustees said today.

The name of the finalist is not being released until after the candidate passes background and physical tests, as he is expected to do, Maitland said. His name may be announced at the trustees’ Dec. 7 meeting, and he likely will begin work in January.

The new chief will replace Craig Wilt, who retired in May after 44 years with the department. Interim Chief Doug Hayes did not apply. Maitland said two candidates from within the department were among the finalists.

All the candidates were male. Eight underwent an assessment, and four were interviewed by trustees. All were from Illinois. The finalist has more than 20 years of experience in firefighting.

Trustees haven’t finalized a salary, but the job was advertised for $95,000. The new chief likely will have a 2.5-year contract, as the district wants to get the contract in line with the fiscal year.

The district covers 35 square miles in the Village of Cherry Valley and unincorporated Winnebago County, serving 21,158 residents. There are 19 full-time employees; all are firefighters and paramedics except one, who holds only firefighting credentials. The district also pays 40 volunteer firefighters when they are on a call or at training.

The district has two fire stations with an annual budget of $3.4 million, which comes from taxes and ambulance service calls.

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Cherry Valley Fire Department news

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 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.

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