Weatherford Democrat

Local News

May 24, 2011

Greenwood VFD lays fellow firefighter to rest

WEATHERFORD — A somber mood hangs over the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department today as they lay to rest one of their own.

Jeffrey Karl Bergt died unexpectedly Friday afternoon in a Fort Worth Hospital.

Greenwood VFD Chief John Burgoyne said Bergt suffered a heart attack May 12, and had stayed in the hospital for follow-up surgery on May 18.

“He just couldn’t handle the surgery,” Burgoyne said.

He said the entire department was shocked by the news.

“He was a young guy — 48,” Burgoyne said. “He was very active at Greenwood. He was our EMS coordinator, he was on the county search and rescue team and on the county honor guard. He was very active and supportive of the people in Parker County, and had been for almost 10 years.”

The Greenwood VFD includes about 40 personnel including volunteers, paid part-time staff and auxiliary.

“It’s a family,” Burgoyne said. “We’re trying to do a really nice funeral for him, and everybody is participating.

“He was a great guy, and we are going to miss him a lot,” he said as he choked up a bit. “Heaven will be a better place with him up there.”

Michael Baldwin, president of the board for the Parker County Firefighter Benevolent Fund, said Bergt’s family will receive benefits from the local organization as well as from the state.

This is the first active duty firefighter to die in Parker County since the fund started in 2009.

“We are meeting [tonight] to determining how much to donate,” Baldwin said. “That’s the purpose of our organization, even if [the death] is not in the line of duty, he was an active firefighter.”

Baldwin attended EMT school with Bergt and worked with him part time at Greenwood VFD.

“It is very much shocking,” he said. “We were expecting him to be dismissed the next day. It’s a complete shock to everybody.”

Bergt is survived by his wife, Cherie Bergt; daughter, Nicole Earls and husband, Johnny; son, Bradley Bergt and wife, Robyn; grandchildren, Kyra, Raelie and Caysen; father, Butch Bergt; mother, Becky Buyers and husband, Tom.

Funeral services are at 10 a.m. today, at Galbreaith-Pickard Funeral Chapel with interment in East Greenwood Cemetery, Weatherford.

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