Cedar Rapids hires new fire chief

CEDAR RAPIDS — Nearly seven months after the last chief’s retirement, a longtime member of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department is taking the helm.

According to a news release on Friday, Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz chose Gregory T. Smith as the new chief.

“Greg has demonstrated exceptional leadership over his 24 years with the department, and I am confident in his ability to build on the department’s successes and lead the team in this new role,” Pomeranz said in the release. “Our fire department employees are passionate about the work they do to ensure the safety and well-being of our community.”

Smith is the fire department’s 14th chief. He was one of six candidates considered for the position after former Chief Mark English announced his retirement in September after six months of medical leave.

Smith has been with the fire department for 24 years, serving in all ranks, most recently as assistant fire chief of operations, according to the release.

He has a master’s degree in public administration, completed the Executive Fire Officer Program through the National Fire Academy, and is a designated chief fire officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He also worked as an adjunct instructor at Kirkwood Community College for nearly 20 years, conducting training in the areas of hazardous materials response, confined space rescue, Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety, and in the entry-level fire program.

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