116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Iowa City City Manager Geoff Fruin has named Scott Lyon as the city’s next fire chief.
Lyon, now the assistant fire chief in Urbandale, is to start April 4, pending approval by the city’s Civil Service Commission and City Council.
He will succeed John Grier, the city’s fire chief from 2013 until February 2022, who retired after nearly 30 years with the department. Deputy Chief Eric Nurnberg has served as interim chief.
Fruin said in a memo that Lyon “clearly articulated his strong belief that the fire department is an extension of the community.”
That “community relations approach to operations,” he said, “aligns with our increasing focus on community risk reduction.”
Fruin said the expects Lyon will create new partnerships between the department and the community, other city departments and regional public safety organizations.
Lyon also has a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and cares about the physical and mental health of his staff, Fruin said.
Fruin recommended Lyon “without any hesitation” and said he is confident the fire department will support him as chief.
The department, he said, is “eager to continue to grow as a team and embrace the many challenges that lie ahead. They will find Mr. Lyon to be an accessible leader that will set high expectations and support each and every person to achieve the city and department strategic goals.”
The Iowa City Council’s next meeting in March 22, when Lyon’s appointment could be on the agenda.
Lyon’s salary is set at $145,000. He will be responsible for an annual operating budget of $9.2 million and a sworn staff of 63 employees.
Lyon has been with the Urbandale department since 2014. Before that, he was deputy fire chief in Clive, another Des Moines suburb.
He graduated from Waldorf College in Forest City with a degree in fire administration in 2014 and completed a master’s degree in organizational leadership in 2017. Lyon also completed paramedic training at Mercy College of Health Sciences.
Eighteen people applied for the chief’s job by the December deadline, and the city announced three finalists last month.
The other two finalists were Joseph Murray, deputy fire chief with the Beloit Fire Department in Beloit, Wis.; and Scott Sarver, district chief at South Metro Fire Rescue in Centennial, Colo.
The city hosted an event last month where residents could meet the finalists.
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