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About the Rockford Fire Department


The Rockford Fire Department is the second largest fire department in the state of Illinois. There are over 300 employees represented by uniformed firefighters, civilian, and 911 Center personnel. The Department provides firefighting, emergency medical, hazardous material mitigation, extication, water rescue, and other techical rescue services to the 150,000 residents of Rockford. Annually, the Department responds to over 27,000 emergency incidents. The City is protected by nine Engines, three Quints, one Ladder, and seven Advanced Life Support Ambulances housed at 11 fire stations strategically located through Rockford. The Fire Department maintains an ISO Class 2 rating and has been Accredited through the Center for Public Safety Excellence since 2011.


Mission Statement

The mission of the Rockford Fire Department is to protect the lives and property of our community through fire, emergency medical, and life safety services.


Vision Statement

The members of the Rockford Fire Department are professionals dedicated to provide services that are innovative and progressive, ensuring the safest environment for our community.







Fire Chief Derek Bergsten


Derek Bergsten was sworn in as the tenth Chief of the Rockford Fire Department on November 14th, 2008. Chief Bergsten holds an Associates of Science and an Associates of Fire Science, a Bachelor's Degree in Business and Organizational Development from Western University, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University. In addition to many specialized fire certifications, he possesses the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) and Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO) designations from the Commission on Professional Credentialing. He is also a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (MIFireE). Chief Bergsten serves as a board member of the Rock River Valley Food Pantry and as a volunteer at the YMCA and Rockford Public Schools.


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                Division Chief Joe Corl


Joe Corl is the Division Chief of Operations. He was appointed Division Chief on May 1st, 2010. He has been a member of the Fire Service for 28 years and a certified paramedic for 25 years. He is responsible for emergency operations and day to day operations for 260 uniformed firefighters. In this role Chief Corl is the Rockford Emergency Manager, which includes coordinating emergency disaster response and preparedness with the City of Rockford and Winnebago County. Chief Corl has an Associates degree in Fire Science from Rock Valley College and a Bachelor's Degree in Fire Service Management from Southern Illinois University. He also holds certification for Illinois Professional Emergency Manager (IPEM) and has completed the Professional Development Series from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.



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Division Chief Matthew Knott


Matthew Knott is the Division Chief of Administration and Fire Prevention. He was appointed Division Chief on April 18th, 2009. He is responsible for planning, budgeting, and administrative functions for the Department. He is also responsible for Fire Investigations, code enforcement, and all community risk reductions efforts. Chief Knott has a Bachelor's Degree in Geology and a Master's Degree in Safety from Northern Illinois University. He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) by the International Association of Emergency Managers and an Illinois Professional Emergency Manager (IPEM). He also holds designations as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO), and Fire Marshal (FM) from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He is also a Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (MIFireE). He holds numerous fire service and law enforcement related certifications in special operations and incident management.


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           Division Chief Brian Drerup


Brian Drerup is the Division Chief of Training. He was appointed Division Chief on June 2nd, 2015. He is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and supervising the Department's fire service training program, emergency medical program, and recruiting programs. Chief Drerup has an A.A.S Degree in Industrial Engineering and an A.A.S Degree in Machine Design Technology from Rock Valley College.


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Special thanks to Jason Rotello and Tamika Jones for contributing images for the City of Rockford website.