The members of the Rockford Fire Department are professionals dedicated to provide services that are innovative and progressive, ensuring the safest environment for our community.

Fire Chief

Fire ChiefMichele Pankow

Michele Pankow

Michele Pankow was sworn in as the 11th Fire Chief of The Rockford Fire Department on September 8, 2021. She made history when she became the first woman in the existence of the Department to serve as the Fire Chief. Before serving as Fire Chief, she was the Division Chief of Operations, which included the Emergency Services Disaster Agency Coordinator for the City of Rockford. Additionally, since starting with the Department in 1992, Chief Pankow has served as a Firefighter, a Training Officer, an EMS Operations Chief, a Lieutenant, a Captain, and a District Chief.

Chief Pankow has a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and a Master’s degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University. She also holds certification as an Illinois Professional Emergency Manager (IPEM) from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and designation as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO) through the Center for Public Safety Excellence. Chief Pankow was awarded the American Red Cross Disaster Services Hero in April 2021, an award given by the Red Cross of Illinois to honor individuals for great acts of bravery, dedication and service in our Community.

[email protected]

Division Chief of Operations

Division Chief of OperationsTimothy O'Keefe

Timothy O'Keefe

Tim O’Keefe was appointed to Division Chief of Operations on September 5th, 2021. Division Chief O’Keefe joined the department in 1995 and has served as Firefighter, Paramedic, Training Coordinator, Lieutenant, Captain, and previously as a District Chief. Chief O’Keefe is responsible for the operations of over 240 uniformed firefighters. He also serves as the City of Rockford’s Emergency Services Disaster Agency Coordinator, and through this role, helps to coordinate emergency disaster response and emergency preparedness. Chief O’Keefe also graduated with an Associate’s degree from Rock Valley in Fire Science before transferring to Southern Illinois University, where he is completing his Bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Management.

[email protected]

Division Chief of Administration and Fire Prevention

Division Chief of Administration and Fire PreventionMatthew Knott

Matthew Knott

Matthew Knott is the Division Chief of Administration and Fire Prevention. He was appointed Division Chief on April 18th, 2009. He is responsible for planning, budgeting, and administrative functions for the Department. He is also responsible for Fire Investigations, code enforcement, and all community risk reductions efforts. Chief Knott has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology and a Master’s Degree in Safety from Northern Illinois University. He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) by the International Association of Emergency Managers and an Illinois Professional Emergency Manager (IPEM). He also holds designations as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO), and Fire Marshal (FM) from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He is also a Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (MIFireE). He holds numerous fire service and law enforcement related certifications in special operations and incident management.

[email protected]

Division Chief of Training

Division Chief of TrainingLuis Duran

Luis Duran

Luis Duran is the Division Chief of Training. He was appointed Division Chief on July 10th, 2021. He has been a member of the Fire Service since 1995 and has served on the Rockford Fire Department as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Fire Investigator, Lieutenant, Captain, and District Chief. He is responsible for administrative and management work in planning, organizing, directing, and supervising the Department’s Fire Service and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training programs. Chief Duran has an Associates in Fire Science Degree from Rock Valley College. He is a certified Illinois Professional Emergency Manager (IPEM) by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and holds several other fire service and incident management certifications.

[email protected]

911 Division Administrator

911 Division AdministratorTodd Stockburger

Todd Stockburger

Todd Stockburger is the Division Administrator for Rockford 911. He was appointed on January 21, 2020 and oversees the day-to-day operations of the 911 Center. He liaises with multiple fire and police organizations that are dispatched through the Center, and he is a member of the Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB). He has previous 911 dispatch experience and was certified as a police officer for twenty-five years. Additionally, he earned degrees from Rock Valley College, Northern Illinois University, University of Phoenix, and attended the FBI National Academy. He is a member of APCO, NENA, FBI National Academy Associates, and International Association of Chiefs of Police.

[email protected]