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Art Zern
  • 65, Male
  • Sycamore, Illinois
  • United States
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  • Charles Olson
  • Paul Hasenmeier
  • Dusty Dines
  • Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich
  • Matt McDowell
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  • Chris Fioretto
  • Greg Brown
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Art Zern

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Art Zern updated their profile
Dec 31, 2023

Profile Information

Lives in:
Sycamore, Illinois
Des Plaines and Sycamore Fire Departments (Retired)
Deputy Chief
Years of public service:
Agency structure:
Paid fire department
Professional Qualifications:
AAS Fire Science
BS Fire Service Management
MS Management and Organizational Behavior
Fire Officer II
Instructor II
Illinois MABAS Operations Committee Co-Chair
Illinois Incident Management Team (Chicago Metro Operations Section Chief)
Field Staff Instructor: Illinois Fire Service Institute
Field Staff Instructor: Illinois Fire Chiefs Association
Instructor: Southwest United Fire Districts
Topics you provide training for:
Tactics and Strategies
Incident Commander Bootcamp
Company Officer Bootcamp
Officer Development
Firefighter Academy
Firefighter III Academy
Management and Leadership
Vehicle/Machinery Ops. and Tech.

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Art Zern's Blog

I could do nothing but stare and ponder……….

I had some running around to do before the FOOLS meeting last week.  I suppose because I was running from place to place, I didn’t think about what I was doing, just getting things done.  I didn't really think about it until yesterday as I was writing a condolence card to the family of Captain Walter C. Sumner of the Cranesville Volunteer Fire Department in Pennsylvania. Captain…


Posted on February 1, 2012 at 6:30pm — 1 Comment

I saw that face again Tuesday

I saw that face again Tuesday, you know the one. The face, of a fellow human being, that had just witnessed an event that would remain etched upon their mind.....forever. I have seen the face countless times over the 30 years I have been doing this job.

The face, of a father, kneeling over his daughter, in the middle of a busy street. He was crossing with his three kids and with only two hands, the older daughter got a bit ahead. The face, blood stained, from a father’s futile…


Posted on April 28, 2011 at 9:00pm — 2 Comments

Take risk or write it off. Part 2.

Back in January, I wrote a blog post asking the question, “Can we establish a common understanding of risk? Or.. should we write it off?” Because my tongue was planted firmly in my cheek when I posed the question, I don’t want the point to be missed. I believe our duty to ourselves and our beloved fire service cannot be separated from our duty to the citizens we are sworn to and are obligated to protect. What is good for us is good for them. My question is, are we seeing this trend to "let it… Continue

Posted on April 27, 2009 at 8:30pm — 18 Comments

Take some time to keep-up with research that is important to all of us.

Often, we get caught-up in seeking information about tactics and task level training needs and desires. Additionally, a lot our members (especially the younger ones) spend a significant amount of searching the Internet for dramatic fire “videos”. Don’t get me wrong, there is value to both of these pursuits. However, I would also encourage all members from all age and seniority groups to spend more time looking at, reading and learning from several on-going research projects that have real… Continue

Posted on February 7, 2009 at 4:00pm — 10 Comments

Comment Wall (44 comments)

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At 8:04am on February 10, 2012, Charles Olson said…

All is good up in DC, been a usual winter, but enjoying it.  Hope all is good with you!  

At 5:52pm on February 5, 2012, Paul Hasenmeier said…

No ice on Lake Erie.  Might not happen this year if.  I have a 16' aluminum v bottom that I can drop in quick and be fishing in minutes.

At 5:05pm on February 5, 2012, Paul Hasenmeier said…

Unseasonably warm here in Ohio.  Have an off day tomorrow and may actually try getting out on the lake to fish.

At 7:20pm on March 23, 2011, Art Zern said…
So very proud of my son upon his selection to Marine Corps Platoon Leader Course this Summer.
At 1:29am on June 11, 2010, Michael Bricault (ret) said…
-Art, I hope all is well. I have not seen you on line of late.
At 4:09pm on December 23, 2009, Kelly Saunders said…
Hey "Chief", I know you are a Lt these days, but in my books you are still a Chief.
Have a safe & happy holiday, men like you are what makes the Fire Service great.
Take care..
At 3:27pm on September 16, 2009, Chris Fioretto said…
Great jod standing up for what you beleave.
At 9:13am on September 6, 2009, Lance Neuses said…
Stay strong!
At 1:04am on September 6, 2009, Kelly Saunders said…
Chief, men like you are what makes the brotherhood great.
Your story brought me to anger at the idiots in goverment & at the same time helped restore my faith that there still are men of character & courage.
Stay the course
At 10:09pm on September 5, 2009, Brotherhood Instructors, LLC said…

We commend you on taking a stand for what is right. I am sure you have the infinite respect of the members of your department (more than you already did). Welcome back to the line (like you ever left), and we are proud to say that we know the most qualified and well-respected Lieutenant in the DPFD!

There are not many chiefs out there with the balls to stand-up to city admin, and now there is one less. Good luck!

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