Accolades for Harlem-Roscoe Fire Chief Don Shoevlin


Harlem-Roscoe Fire Department Chief Don Shoevlin

Don Shoevlin, past president of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, came up through the ranks to become chief of the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Protection District (HRFD). He began as a volunteer firefighter with the Cary, IL fire department before he and his family moved to Roscoe in 1991.

After coming to Roscoe, he ran a printing shop and joined the Harlem-Roscoe Fire District as a volunteer. A few years later, he was promoted to lieutenant.

Shoevlin was the first recipient of the Harlem Roscoe Good Service Award in 2004, and was named Firefighter of the Year by the Roscoe VFW in 2009.

When former Chief Oscar Presley retired in 2008, Shoevlin became the new HRFD chief. Chief Presley passed away in 2018. Presley had been with the department for 42 years, 25 of which were as chief.

Shoevlin has made safety and advanced training high priorities for all fire personnel. He is a past president of Division 8 MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System), a statewide mutual aid system. He improved procedures and guidelines, created the HazMat team, and called for cross-training of firefighters and EMS.

HRFD Board member John Donahue said Shoevlin has made a positive impact on the Stateline. “Don is a leader and is involved in the community. He has been a part of Illinois Fire Chiefs Association for many years.”

In Oct, 2019, Shoevlin was elected by fire chiefs across the State as second vice president of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA). In Oct, 2019, he served as first vice president.

He was elected to a one-year term as IFCA President from 2020 to 2021. This year he is the association’s past president. All told, a four-year commitment.

Donahue said the IFCA members get together regularly and are involved in Chief Fire Officer Training and legislation issues in Springfield.

Shoevlin currently sits on the Winnebago County 911 Board.

Deputy Chief John Bergeron said Chief Shoevlin has been instrumental in enhancing technology and updating and making improvements at all three stations: Station 1 – Roscoe, Station 2 – Machesney Park, and Station 3 - Willowbrook Rd.

“Our district has the best equipment and training and provide excellent care,” Bergeron said.

HRFD personnel made plans to celebrate and recognize Chief Shevlin’s accomplishments in 2021. Unfortunately, COVID struck and plans had to be cancelled, not once, but twice.

Maybe this year it can happen.

Kudos to an exceptional leader who has served the Roscoe and Stateline community well.

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