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Posted on: March 10, 2023

John Zolondek Appointed Acting Cedar Falls Fire Chief


Public Safety Director Craig Berte has appointed Captain John Zolondek as the Acting Fire Chief for the Cedar Falls Fire Division in accordance with City Ordinance 2-979 while the search for a permanent replacement is conducted.   

Zolondek is a 16-year veteran of the Cedar Falls Public Safety Department. He previously served as a full-time firefighter for the Winona, Minnesota Fire Department. He is a nationally registered EMT and holds State of Iowa Fire Certifications of Firefighter 1 and 2, Fire Officer 1 and 2, Fire Instructor 1, Fire Inspector 1, HAZMAT Awareness and Operations, and Pumper/Operator. He is a certified peace officer and holds several police certifications including Drug Recognition Expert.   

Zolondek previously served as Military Policeman in the United States Marine Corps. He is a combat veteran who served in Al-Ramadi and Al-Fallujah, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003-2004. He was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal with VALOR for his actions in Iraq.   

Zolondek has a Master's Degree from Saint Ambrose University and a Bachelor's Degree from Saint Mary's University in Minnesota. He is a two-time recipient of MercyOne's Heroes Among Us Award. Both awards were for life-saving efforts; one as a Police Officer in 2018 and a second as a Firefighter in 2019.  

The hiring process for a permanent Fire Chief replacement is underway. The process is expected to conclude in early June.

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