After an extensive, nationwide search, the Poudre Fire Authority has finally named a new fire chief: Derek Bergsten, who hails from Rockford, Illinois.

Bergsten served as the fire chief for the Rockford Illinois Fire department for 12 years, and according to a press release, "was named the 2020 Illinois Fire Chief of the Year by the Illinois Fire Chief Association for 'significant, ongoing contributions in our profession' according to the organization’s webpage." He began his career in 1989 as a firefighter and EMT volunteer and quickly gained the trust and respect of his team, who described him as a compassionate leader.

During his time as a Rockford fire chief, he served a population of 147,000 and, according to that same press release, responded to 30,000 incidents in 2019. Because Poudre Fire Authority responded to 22,000 in the same year, we know Bergsten will be well-prepared for his role.

In late 2020, the active PFA fire chief, Tom DeMint, announced his retirement, and the search for a replacement began. Bergsten was part of a group of four finalists who visited Fort Collins in March and toured the facilities. He was also introduced to the community virtually.

Former Chief DeMint expressed his admiration for Bergsten, saying in a public statement:

I am excited to pass command to this recognized fire service leader who will help chart the course of the future of PFA.

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