(This is a story in an ongoing series of profiles to spotlight area first responders).

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JERSEYVILLE - Former Jerseyville Fire Chief Alan Gowin was one of those who retired from the first-responder group in 2020 and he will be missed by those who worked with him.

Riverbender.com begins a series of First Responders Salute profiles with Gowin, a fire chief who retired last year after 33 years of experience.

Gerry New, the QEM Fire Protection District Chief, said this about Gowin with a tribute: “We salute you for your dedication, the many sacrifices, the endless hours, and sometimes the lack of a simple ‘thank you’ for what you have done for the City of Jerseyville, the Jerseyville Fire Department and the QEM Fire District. “Your retirement is both well-deserved and bittersweet for the community, its residents and the districts surrounding Jerseyville.”

Gowin said it did require significant sacrifices to go out in the middle of the night and in tough weather conditions, but he said he is thankful for his team as a first responder. He also said he received constant support from his wife, Reba, and family to engage in the first responder career.

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“I had a good group of people to work with in Jerseyville,” he said of the fire department personnel. “I enjoyed my time as a firefighter.”

The biggest satisfaction Gowin said he received from time as a firefighter was “just helping people out in their time of need.”

Gowin said one of the hardest parts of the job was cutting someone out of a car after an accident but when they lived, it was one of the most satisfying parts of his role.

Alan Gowin was a Jerseyville High School graduate and spent several years in the U.S. Navy, so his entire life has been devoted to service.

Alan said he is excited to spend his retirement time with wife and family.

If you have a Responder Salute story suggestion, e-mail news@riverbender.com or text 618-623-5930. Include information about the person and reason for the suggestion, a photo, and contact info for the first responder.

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