Fire Chief Bruce Ziegle
Chief Bruce Ziegle has been a member of the Park Forest Fire Department since February of 1977, when he joined the Paid-On-Call Division while still a senior in high school. With a desire to help people and provide public service, he set forth to obtain the necessary training to begin a career in the fire service. While with the POC Division he progressed through the ranks of Engineer and Lieutenant and became the department’s EMS Coordinator, a position which he still assists with today.
After completing his basic training he was hired by the Park Forest South Fire Department as a career Firefighter/Paramedic in 1981. While still a member of the POC Division, Bruce worked a weekly schedule of four 10-hour days for Park Forest South and ran additional calls with their POC Division. Chief Ziegle retired from the now University Park Fire Department as their Assistant Chief after 28 ½ years of service.
In 1985, Bruce Ziegle moved to the Matteson Fire Department’s career division as a Firefighter/Paramedic, before joining the career division of the Park Forest Fire Department in 1986. He was promoted to Lieutenant/Paramedic in 1992 and assigned to the department’s administration and training division. In 2007, Captain Ziegle was promoted to the rank of Deputy Fire Chief continuing his duties in administration and training. On April 1, 2013 Deputy Chief Ziegle was promoted to the rank of Fire Chief.
Chief Ziegle was twice named the Jaycees Firefighter of the Year and the Statewide Lion’s organizations Firefighter of the Year. Among his other achievements are his election as the Chairperson of the Combined Agency Rescue Team, a regional technical rescue response and training group, and as Secretary/Treasurer of the WILCO Fire Chief’s Association/MABAS Division 27. Chief Ziegle is also a member of the Statewide Technical Rescue Committee and a Logistics Manager for Illinois Task Force – 1, the State of Illinois Urban Search and Rescue Team.
Chief Ziegle graduated from Rich East High School in 1977, has a certificate and Associates in Applied Science for Fire Science from Prairie State Junior College and holds a Bachelors Degree from Southern Illinois University in Fire Science Management. In addition to his work for the fire department he has worked as an instructor for Prairie State College in the Fire Science program and as an instructor for the Illinois Fire Service Institute in Technical Rescue Awareness and the National Incident Management System.
Chief Ziegle has advanced training in a variety of areas including firefighting, hazardous materials, technical rescue and incident command. He has also completed special Train-The-Trainer classes in a number of incident command disciplines. As a member of the regional training committee, the Chief acts as an instructor and helps to bring training in all of the fire service disciplines to our area.
Chief Ziegle and his wife Julia, an urgent care nurse, live in Park Forest where they raised two children, both of whom are graduates of Rich East High School. Both Bruce and his wife have spent most of their lives as residents of the Village, growing up here and watching the Village mature and evolve.
Throughout his career Chief Ziegle has often put the needs of the community above those of himself and his family. He has spent many a holiday working or on stand-by for emergencies, interrupting birthdays or family dinners to respond to a call for assistance. This type of dedication is typical for members of our department and the Chief looks forward to serving the public for many years to come.