Rockford- Firefighters past and present gather to say good-bye to former Fire Chief Bill Robertson. Flags throughout the city are at half staff in honor of him.
Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten says "the impact of him not being here will be felt for a long time. Not just for the fire department for the whole city and then personally for myself not having him. It's a tremendous loss for everyone."
spent decades working his way up the ranks of
Bergsten says "he was a personal mentor to me that's what made me strive to want this position is his leadership and his attitude."
Even after 17 years as Fire Chief, he continued to serve running for alderman in 2009 working for the city despite being diagnosed with bone cancer.
Bergsten explains "he wasn't done yet and one thing that he said when he decided to run for alderman was that he wanted to give back to the very community that supported him the entire time that he worked for the fire department."
Alderman Carl Wasco described Robertson's "life of giving." Saying he was sincere, earnest and loyal. A sentiment shared by friends and family.
Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro says "there's no question he impacted everybody that he met he impacted because he was just that type of person he was sincere. If he told you something it was the truth and you could take it to the bank. He was a decent good man."
Robertson was a man who was also dedicated to his wife, two daughters and grandchildren. City council members say Robertson's notable leadership will be missed.
"He's the type of person that you meet and he makes such an impact on you when you meet him and you're around him that there are very few people like that. That you have the chance to meet in your lifetime," says Iasparro.