Posts Tagged new fire chief in Loves Park

Loves Park Fire Department news

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At Tuesday’s Loves Park City Council meeting, James Hart will be sworn in as the next Chief of the Loves Park Fire Department.

Hart is a deputy chief serving the Loves Park Fire department since 2018. Hart has also served as a paramedic in Rockford and in Colorado.

Hart succeeds Jerry Wiltfang, who has served as Loves Park fire chief since 2018.

At the Dec. 19 meeting, city council members approved a resolution for Wiltfang to serve as a part-time assistant to the Loves Park mayor, taking the new role of Director of Emergency Operations.

Officials credit Wiltfang as a major part of expanding the role of the Loves Park Fire Department, growing from a volunteer department to having 24/7 response teams.

Under Wiltfang, the department has also gotten newer equipment and opened a new fire station to allow for better response times for more people in the city.

The city council will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Loves Park City Hall. The full agenda for Tuesday’s meeting can be found here.

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New chief for the Loves Park Fire Department

Excerpts from

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.

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