The Hampshire Fire District board of trustees has tapped two veteran supervisors to lead its squad of eight full-time firefighters and 30 part-time firefighters into the future.
Bill Robinson, former deputy chief, and Trevor Herrmann, a former captain, were sworn in earlier this week as fire chief and deputy chief, respectively.
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Robinson, 57, will be making $88,000 a year, while Herrmann, 43, will make $84,000 annually.
Herrmann first met Robinson in 1994, when Robinson joined the district as a volunteer.
Later on, Herrmann was the first full-time firefighter in the district's history, while Robinson became the second.
"He and I have been working together since then and have a close relationship," Herrmann said. "We have been through a lot together, anywhere from being short-handed on major calls back in the days when we were the only ones on duty ... to going through some of the tough years of growing pains."
Robinson has been in the industry since 1975 and started his career in Bloomingdale as a part-time firefighter. He initially delayed his dreams of becoming a full-time firefighter because it didn't pay enough.
"When I started in Bloomingdale, I took their test and I was working in the steel industry making $36,000 a year," Robinson said, adding that a full-time firefighting job in Bloomingdale paid $18,000 a year, which was not enough to support his wife and daughter.
Once he was financially secure, he took the test to become a full-time firefighter in Hampshire and has been there for 18 years.
Herrmann joined the department in 1989 and comes from a line of Hampshire firefighters. His father, John, served the district 20 years and left as captain while his grandfather, also John, was one of the founders of the district in 1931. He served for 45 years.
"It's very special," Herrmann said. "Just growing up and watching my grandfather and watching my dad, I always had an interest in it."
Robinson replaces Curt Kramer, who retired after serving as chief for eight years. The fire district board did not hold a search for outside candidates and instead chose to promote from within.