As HRFD Chief Don Shoevlin retires, Chief Patrick Trollop picks up the torch


Chief Don Shoevlin’s children and wife Tammy were brought on stage at the farewell program held in the Main Street fire station, Dec. 30. (L to R) Steve Shoevlin, Michelle Leonard, Laura Paul, Kelly Shimp, and Shoevlin’s wife Tammy.

Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, was a day of celebration and tears, as Fire Chief Don Shoevlin officially retired after 20 years of service to the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Protection District (HRFD). It was also the day Patrick Trollop, a 10-year veteran of HRFD, was officially named HRFD Chief.

Roscoe residents, members of the firefighting community, and area dignitaries gathered at the HRFD Main Street station to say farewell to Shoevlin and witness the transfer of leadership to Trollop.

Twenty years ago, Shoevlin, his wife Tammy and four children moved from Cary, IL, to Roscoe.

While living in Cary, Shoevlin was a volunteer member of the Cary Fire Department for 12 years and earned the rank of captain.

After a few years living in Roscoe, he found he had an “itch” to return to firefighting and volunteered at Harlem Roscoe Fire. In 2008, he was named HRFD Chief.

The district includes Station #1 at 10544 Main St. in Roscoe, Station #2, 825 Ralston Rd. in Machesney Park, and Station #3 at 23974 Willow Brook Rd. in Roscoe.

As chief, Shoevlin received accolades for building a well-trained group of fire fighters and personnel with up-to-date equipment. “Protection training is very important. The more training, the better prepared we are for unknown situations.” he said.

A few months ago, after a total of 35 years as a firefighter and 15 years as chief, Shoevlin announced he would be retiring at the end of 2022.

His future plans are to spend time with his wife, children and grandchildren, promote the department, and stay involved with the Roscoe community.

A day-long tribute to the chief was held on Dec. 30, at the Main Street Fire Station #1. The day began with an informal “Coffee and Chat” with the chief, followed by a retirement ceremony at 11:30 a.m., and a reception at North Pointe Health and Wellness Center in the evening.

The ceremony was a farewell program and also an installation of the new chief, Patrick Trollop. Guests included village residents, fire fighters and members of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association.

The transfer of leadership was not without tradition and emotion: The wailing sound of a bagpipe could be heard as the piper led all the HRFD fire personnel into the station bay. The Presentation of Arms and Pledge of Allegiance followed.

Paul Meyer, pastor of Roscoe United Methodist Church and HRFD chaplain, was the program’s master of ceremonies.

Roscoe Police Chief Jamie Evans said she has worked closely with the Chief for 14 years. “We made fun of each other in the beginning,” she joked. “We both love our community, and love serving the people of Roscoe.”

“I always knew I had a confidant in Chief Shoevlin. We will all miss you.”

Shoevlin has served as president of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association. Several members of the Association paid tribute to his leadership.

A pinning ceremony began with the swearing in of the new chief, Patrick Trollop. The secretary of the Harlem Roscoe Fire District Board of Trustees, John Donahue, swore in the new chief. Trollop’s wife Becky pinned the badge on her husband’s jacket.

A traditional honorary fire helmet was presented to the new chief as well as to the outgoing chief.

Chief Trollop has been a HRFD firefighter for 10 years and previously held the rank of Battalion Chief. Prior to becoming a firefighter, Trollop was a paramedic for five years for a private service in the Rockford area. He served as an infantry squad leader in the US Marine Corps.

Trollop and his wife Becky live in Roscoe and are the parents of two young children.

Chief Shoevlin brought his wife Tammy, his four children, and nine grandchildren on stage.

“This is what I am going to be doing from now on” he said. “My family has been my rock. They pushed me and supported me. I owe them an enormous amount of gratitude and love. I have been lucky and blessed.”

He said he has lived his life by the motto: "Faith, Family and Fire Service.”

A final tribute was held, ending the ceremony. Shoevlin made his last walk through the doors of the fire station, escorted by his son Steve, a member of the Rockford Fire Dept.

Later in the day, the public was invited to a reception at North Pointe honoring the now-retired chief and welcoming the new chief, Patrick Trollop.

Patrick Trollop was sworn in as the new HRFD fire chief in a ceremony held at the Main Street Station #1 on Dec. 30, 2022. His wife Becky pinned his badge. The day’s event was also a retirement celebration in honor of Chief Don Shoevlin who has been chief for the past 15 years.
Friday, Dec. 30, 2022 was Don Shoevllin’s last day as chief of the Harlem Roscoe Fire District. Shoevlin had been chief for 15 years.
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified