By Leila Merrill
MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. — Firefighter/EMT Brian “Tater” Rehnberg, 50, died on Sunday at home after responding to an activated alarm with carbon monoxide present, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
Rehnberg’s wife found him unresponsive at about 2:30 p.m. He was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead from an apparent heart attack.
Rehnberg served for 23 years – most recently as a volunteer for the North Park Fire Protection District. He was an explorer with the Rockford (Ill.) Fire Department and began his fire service career with the Cherry Valley Fire Protection District in 1999, according to a news release from North Park Fire. Rehnberg also worked as an EMT for Lifeline Ambulance and the Kirkland (Ill.) Fire Protection District.
“He was truly a blessed soul with a big heart — all he wanted to do was take care of people,” North Park Fire Chief Joel Hallstrom told WREX. “Whether it was a patient or somebody at the fire department that was here, that was his thing and he was great at it.”