Harlem-Roscoe Fire Chief Don Shoevlin retiring at the end of the year
For many years, Harlem-Roscoe Fire Chief Oscar Presley was a likable and well-respected part of the Roscoe community. His successor would have big boots to fill.
Chief Don Shoevlin has filled those boots very well.
Shoevlin has been a member of Harlem Roscoe Fire District (HRFD) for more than twenty years. He became chief in 2008.
Don, his wife Tammy, and their four children came to Roscoe from Cary, IL where they both grew up. Don was a volunteer member of the Cary Fire Department for 12 years, where he earned the rank of Captain.
In 1991, he was hired by Prudential Insurance for a management position and moved his family to Roscoe.
Ten years later, the couple purchased American Bell, a screen-printing business in Roscoe. “Then I got the itch to volunteer at HRFD.”
“I wanted to become an officer but never even thought about being chief,” he said. “My wife Tammy prodded me to apply for the job.”
When he became chief, his goal was to continue to progress and adapt. Other goals were maintaining and updating equipment, and to continue to build a well-trained group of firefighters and personnel.
“On-going fire protection training is a very important issue. It’s one of my passions. The more training we do, the better prepared we are for unknown situations.”
Chief Shoevlin has succeeded. Among his accomplishments are updating the three stations in the district: Station #1, at 10544 Main St. in Roscoe, Station #2, at 825 Ralston Rd, Machesney Park, and Station #3, 13974 Willow Brook Rd, Roscoe.
Shoevlin said he is looking forward to spending time with “my bride” and their grandchildren. The couple will be flying off to Hawaii in February. “We went there on our honeymoon 43 years ago. I have always promised her that we would go back some day.”
However, he admits fire protection is in his blood. “After I retire, I want to spend time promoting the department and giving back to the Roscoe community.”
Chief Shoevlin said he has always strived to keep his firefighters as safe as possible. He lives by the slogan, "Risk little to save a little, risk a lot to save a lot.”
Once again, a chief has been chosen from within. Patrick Trollop will be taking over as HRFD chief at the end of the year. Trollop, currently a Battalion Chief, has been with the department for 10 years.
The public is invited to celebrate the retirement of Chief Shoevlin with a "Coffee and Chat" on Friday, Dec. 30, 2022 between 8 and 11 a.m., at the Main Street Station in Roscoe. At 11:30 a.m., Trollop will become Roscoe’s new Fire Chief in a Walk Out and Pinning Ceremony.
HRFD personnel and firefighters from area municipalities will be present for the event.