Fire Marshal Expected to Be Next Iowa City Fire Chief

By Gregg Hennigan, Reporter

Fire engines at Iowa City Fire Department Station 4, 2008 Dubuque Road, Iowa City, on the city's northeast side on Thursday, May 3, 2012. (Matt Nelson/The Gazette - KCRG-TV9)

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By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa City’s next fire chief likely will be a longtime member of the Fire Department.

City Manager Tom Markus has appointed Fire Marshal John Grier as the new fire chief, pending City Council approval. The council is expected to OK the hiring at its Aug. 20 meeting.

Grier is a 21-year veteran of the Iowa City Fire Department and has been fire marshal since March 2007. He would succeed Andy Rocca, who retired in May after being fire chief since 1996.

Grier was among five candidates who participated in interviews last month, and one of two finalists who had second interviews.

Markus said he liked Grier’s length of service with the department, the different positions he’s held, that he is a paramedic, has a master’s degree and has a good attitude.

Markus said Grier stood out, “From a lot of perspectives. I think he has both a big picture view of public safety, fire service and also the detail you need to have to operate a department. … His learning curve is short.”

Grier is out of the office until Monday and did not immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday.

Markus said he is proposing a salary of $113,000 annually for Grier. Rocca made $129,584 at his retirement.

The Fire Department has 63 members.

The other candidates who were interviewed were:

Greg Main, district chief, Evansville, Ind., Fire Department

Eric Nurnberg, captain, Iowa City Fire Department

Brian Platz, battalion chief, Iowa City Fire Department

John-Paul Schilling, chief, Cedar Falls Fire Department.

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