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Cedar Rapids Fire Department appoints assistant fire chief Andrew Olesen had served the department for 20 years

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Fire Department announced this week that Andrew Olesen has been named assistant fire chief. His new role went into effect July 24.

Olesen will direct and manage the day-to-day operations of the fire department’s emergency response programs.

He has been with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department since 1999. Over the past 20 years, he has served as a firefighter, captain, battalion chief and training chief.

Olesen has served on the Hazardous Materials Response Team and Special Operations Team since 2002, and he was a member of the Iowa Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team.

He also served as accreditation manager as the fire department went through accreditation last year.

“Andy’s extensive work and educational experience make him the ideal candidate to serve in this role,” said Jeff Pomeranz, Cedar Rapids city manager. “I am proud of the talent within our Fire Department who demonstrate leadership qualities and a dedication to service.”

Cedar Rapids Fire Chief Greg Smith said Olesen “approaches every challenge with intelligence, grit and determination.”

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“He has proven himself to be an integral leader of the department. I look forward to working together as we continue to build on the success of the department, and ensure the safety and well-being of the Cedar Rapids community,” Smith said.

Olesen said he is looking forward to working with firefighters and fire officers to solve the complex problems the department encounters daily.

“I enjoy knowing the work we do across the city has a real and positive impact on the lives of our residents and visitors,” Olesen said. “Doing that work with some of the most capable people around is deeply rewarding.”

• Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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