On behalf of the women and men of the Inver Grove Heights Fire Department, I would like to welcome you to our fire department webpage!
The Inver Grove Heights Fire Department (IGH FD) is an “all risk” fire department that proudly provides our community with quality, professional public education, firefighting, investigation, inspection, emergency medical, and rescue services, and I am very humbled to be their Chief.
Our highly skilled staff consists of our operational personnel that includes 40-45 paid-on-call firefighters who are supplemented by 12 full time firefighters. We also have six full time administrative staff, five of which respond to calls; Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, Fire Marshal, Fire Operations Supervisor, Fire Inspector and Support Specialist.
The most important asset we have in this department is not the fire stations or equipment, it is the personnel who truly care about what happens to the people in this community! As the Chief of this wonderful department, I believe we have some of the most loyal and committed Firefighters in the state. I may be biased but I am extremely proud of the dedication and accomplishments of all our IGH Fire staff! Over the years, we had one firefighter reach 45 years and our fire marshal hit 37! So many others have devoted 20-35 years to this department and community as well! Also, many of our personnel have received local, state and national recognition for their service to this community, other groups and organizations, as well as a life-saving rescue.
Our Firefighters are very active, running approximately 3,000 calls out of three stations. Two of those stations each have a three-person engine company housed there 24/7/365. This means someone is at the station, ready to respond to all types of calls, which provides a quick response time throughout the city.
I encourage you to browse through each of the sections within this website, which will give you a chance to learn about fire prevention and safety and dive a little deeper into how we operate as a fire department. Please also follow us on our Facebook page!
Our personnel strive to provide quality customer service to our residents, businesses and visitors and take great pride in what we do!
It is an honor and privilege to serve as the fire chief for the City of Inver Grove Heights! Thank you for visiting.
Judy Smith Thill, Fire Chief
Meet our Leadership Staff
|Chief & Command Staff
Chief Judy Thill
In 2007, the city hired Judy Smith Thill as the first full-time fire chief to lead the 50-year-old IGH Fire Department. With more than 33 years of fire service experience, Chief Thill is responsible for managing the department's approximately 50 paid-on-call (POC) and 17 full-time staff. She started out in 1989 as a POC firefighter with the Eagan FD, while also working as the Safety Manager for Northwest Airlines. Hired full-time by the Maple Grove FD in 1996, she served as Deputy Chief for 11 years, while continuing with Eagan as a POC firefighter, before coming to IGH.
Chief Thill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Safety Management and has completed all coursework toward a master’s degree in business administration. She received full scholarships to attend two national executive leader programs: Harvard University’s Senior Executive Leaders in State and Local Government and Naval Postgraduate School’s Executive Leaders at the Center for Defense and Homeland Security.
Chief Thill has been active at both the national and state levels, serving on various boards and committees, participating in webinars and writing articles for numerous publications. Recognized by her peers for her leadership and contributions to the fire service, in 2017, Chief Thill received both the International Association of Fire Chiefs John M. Buckman Leadership Award, and the MN State Fire Chiefs Association Fire Officer of the Year.
Meet Blaze, Chief Thill's canine companion.
Deputy Chief Eric Bergum is responsible for the daily operational preparedness of the IGH Fire Department. Under his supervision, he is responsible for the care, maintenance, and state of readiness of our fleet of 14 apparatus, 2 Fire Rescue Boats, 3 fire stations, and all tools and equipment associated with our response.
His other responsibilities include oversight of the IGH FD Training Department, county communications systems and response mapping, departmental policies and procedures, and personnel. In 2019, he oversaw the construction phase of the new 32,000 square foot IGH Fire Station No. 2 and has led the design of all our present large fire apparatus.
Deputy Chief Bergum began his career with IGH FD in 1988, serving his community as a paid-on-call firefighter, while also running his own business and managing businesses for others. Working his way up the ranks, he joined Chief staff in 2004 as Assistant Chief and then Deputy Chief in 2008. In 2012, Chief Bergum was appointed as the city’s first full-time Assistant Fire Chief. He has twice earned the IGH FD Chief’s Award for outstanding service.
Assistant Fire Chief / Fire Marshal
Assistant Fire Chief Scott Oswald is a 14-year veteran of the fire service, serves as the hazardous materials manager for the Dakota County Special Operations Team and is a member of MN Task Force 1. He has earned a Masters Degree in Public Safety and Law Enforcement Leadership and an Associates Degree in Fire Science Technology.
Battalion Chief Cory Rosendale oversees the daily supervision of the paid-on-call staff, as well as assisting with repair and preventative maintenance of the three IGH fire stations. Covering the city at night and on weekends he serves in an incident command role on fire and medical emergencies where necessary.
His other commitments include working as a contributing member of the IGH FD Training Department focusing on the knowledge and skills necessary for safe and efficient fire suppression activities.
Battalion Chief Rosendale launched his career with the Hamel FD in 2000 as a paid-on-call firefighter. In 2004 he joined the ranks of the Loretto FD while still serving as a Lieutenant on the Hamel FD. Coming to IGH FD in 2010, Chief Rosendale quickly rose the ladder as an Engineer, Lieutenant, and Captain before joining the Chiefs staff in 2019 as a Battalion Chief.
Fire Operations SupervisorEmail
Lt. Dan Bernardy serves as the IGH Fire Department's Emergency Medical Services Coordinator and manages the training records and certification requirements for initial and continuing education of recruits and seasoned firefighters. As a member of the IGH FD training team, Lt. Bernardy contributes to the development, scheduling, and instruction of weekly trainings.
His other duties include the instruction of all new IGH FD recruits, leading regional recruit training through the Northern Dakota Training Academy, and is the coordinator of youth programs, public education, and special events. He serves as the advisor for the Fire Explorer program, one of the longest running programs in the state.
A Navy Veteran, Lt. Bernardy began his career with the IGH FD in 1986 as a paid-on-call firefighter, while also serving as a full-time firefighter in West St Paul and then Minn. Deputy State Fire Marshal. He was appointed as the full-time Fire Operations Supervisor with the IGH FD in 2019. Lt. Bernardy has been the recipient of several statewide awards for fire prevention and safety.