MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — The community gathered on Tuesday to say their final goodbyes to a local fallen firefighter.

It was an emotional day, and many are still of shock Brian Rehnberg’s departure. Tuesday, however, showed that he touched so many lives.

“Brian was a very determinant person,” said North Park Fire Protection District Captain Lauren Schultz. “He was a very hard-working person, and he was a very loving person.”

Hundreds gathered at the Indoor Sports Center for Rehnberg’s memorial. The firefighter and engineer passed away from a cardiac-related condition on Christmas Day shortly after returning home from his shift. His death is being treated as a line of duty death.

Schultz said that she worked with Rehnberg for 12 years. He was her mentor when she first started at North Park, and he was proud of her when she became his captain.

‘He was always, like I said everyone’s biggest cheerleader, and Brian was always behind everyone 100%,” Schultz said. “He always wanted to see everyone succeed.”

Rehnberg served multiple departments all around the stateline, including Rockford, Cherry Valley, Kirkland and most recently North Park Fire Protection District. He was with North Park for the past 14 years.

“He was always there when we needed him,” said North Park Captain Matt Johnson. “He really demonstrated what a true friend should look like. He would always call and check up on you just out of the blue.”

“I think all of us probably got a phone call from Brian every other day,” Schultz added. “He was always checking in on everyone else, even when we weren’t on shift, so I think I will take that away.”

Johnson said that Rehnberg was a true friend always willing to help go above and beyond, and was a mentor to all.

“We can all be better by remembering Brian’s example; his work ethic, his kindness, friendship and dedication to the community and the department,” Johnson said.

Both Johnson and Schultz said that it is going to be hard to heal from losing a firefighter like Rehnberg, but they will heal together.

Police and fire trucks took part in a procession to the funeral home after the ceremony. It went west on Riverside to Alpine Road, past Rehnberg’s fire station, after leaving the sports center. The procession continued to Spring Creek then Mulford, on its way to Fitzgerald Funeral Home on South Mulford.

Rehnberg was 50. He leaves behind a wife and son.