SOUTH ROXANA - The death of South Roxana Fire Chief Todd Werner has had a strong impact on first responders and the region as a whole.

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South Roxana City Administrator Bob Coles issued the following statement Friday afternoon:

“It is with a heavy heart the Village of South Roxana announces the passing of South Roxana Fire Department Chief Todd Werner,” Coles said. “Todd suffered a massive heart attack Sunday night while visiting his mother in Wood River. Todd died at Barnes Hospital on Thursday, July 1, 2021.

“To know Todd is to understand he was born into public service. He was the epitome of selfless service to his community. In regards to South Roxana, Todd was on the Chouteau Township Board, Village South Roxana Board Member, Chief of the South Roxana Fire Department, and a former South Roxana Police Officer.

“The majority of my professional career had been spent with Todd, working, maturing, and growing together. Todd was not only my close friend but a confidant where I could discuss village issues, and we would sit down and try to come up with a solution that benefited the majority of people. I am truly going to miss my conversations with him.

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“Todd was a community leader and not only was I blessed to have him within my life but the entire town benefited from Todd’s generosity. Todd served as a role model to the younger firefighters in the department. He called them his children and mentored them as if they were his own.”

East Alton Fire Department Chief Tim Quigley worked with Todd Werner in many different capacities over the years and said he will be missed greatly.

“I knew him a long time, used to work for Alton Memorial Ambulance Service,” Quigley said. “ He was one of those people you want on a first responder scene. Todd was a constant professional and a top-notch medic. He paid attention to what was going on, cared about people. Todd is donating his organs in his passing, and he will be sadly missed. I never saw him without a smile on his face. When we had a chiefs group gathered, he always brought a lot of knowledge. His demeanor was untouchable. He was one of those guys who made everything around him easy. When he talked about anything, you knew what he was talking about.”

Rosewood Heights Fire Protection District made these remarks about Werner: “It is with great sadness that we learn of the sudden loss of South Roxana Fire Chief Todd Werner. Chief Werner was also a long-time paramedic with Alton Memorial and has been a Madison County Sheriff’s Dispatcher for the last few years. Chief Werner was a fun and amazing person to be around and was so well known and loved in the public safety community. We hope everyone can keep Chief Werner, his family, and the South Roxana Fire District in your thoughts and prayers.”

Funeral arrangements are pending, but a tentative date of Friday, July 9, for visitation and Saturday, July 10, for the grave service. Todd will be buried in his hometown at Wanda Cemetery.

“Due to Todd’s reach throughout the area, we are trying to secure a large enough facility to properly honor Todd and his family,” Coles said. “When a venue has been secured, a notice will be sent out to inform the public so they can come to honor Todd and share in his memory.

“I have the honor of assisting in funeral arrangements and helping the family navigate through this unexpected tragedy. I can be reached at bcoles@southroxana.org for anyone wanting to assist during this time.”Chris Rhodes also contributed to this story.

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Related Video:

Funeral Procession for Fire Chief Todd Werner