During the Cedar Falls City Council meeting on June 5, 2023, the Council named John Zolondek the new Cedar Falls Fire Chief.
The vote came after a recommendation from Mayor Rob Green, City Administrator Ron Gaines, and Public Safety Director Craig Berte to appoint Zolondek, who has been with the Cedar Falls Public Safety Department since 2007. He has served as a POC Firefighter, Public Safety Officer, Investigator, Lieutenant, Captain, and recently as the Acting Fire Chief. Previously he was a firefighter with the Winona Fire Department in Minnesota.
Zolondek is a graduate of Saint Ambrose University and holds a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice. He also served as a Military Police Officer in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from 2002 to 2008 and is a Combat Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal with VALOR for his actions in Iraq and is a two-time recipient of MercyOne's Heroes Among Us Award. His certifications include Iowa Peace Officer, Drug Recognition Expert, Firefighter, NR-EMT, Fire Officer, Fire Instructor, and Fire Inspector.
Zolondek's new position as Cedar Falls Fire Chief became effective June 6.
"After 16 years in Cedar Falls, I look forward to continuing my service to the community as Fire Chief," said Zolondek. "Alongside our incredible Public Safety team, we will positively and progressively keep the department moving in the right direction."