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Janesville ends mutual aid agreement with Cedar Falls, citing “safety issues” with PSO program

JANESVILLE, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Janesville City Council voted to discontinue its mutual aid agreement with the City of Cedar Falls following a controversial decision to eliminate the position of career firefighters.

In a Facebook post, Janesville made the announcement Wednesday saying the council voted on a resolution to end the agreement the night before. The vote was reportedly unanimous, as was a similar vote among Janesville Fire Rescue.

Fire rescue reportedly offered the following issues:

(1) Fire ground safety issues caused by the lack of experience of the Cedar Falls PSO’s. It is our belief that problem was created when the Career Firefighters positions were eliminated.

(2) Efforts to draw up a Memorandum of Understanding between the JFR and the CFPSD have not been successful. The purpose of the MOU was to define individual department commitments to mutual aid responses. One request was for the CFPSD to commit to providing (1) engine and (4) men in Personal Protective gear and SCBA’s. One response we received was “ ideally” they would provide the manpower requested. Another stated “based on the resource availability”. It is our opinion that those answers show Mr. Olsen’s statement that Cedar Falls has no problem with manpower staffing is not correct.

City of Janesville IA Facebook

Cedar Falls recently passed a controversial measure that would staff the city's Public Safety Department, which includes police and fire, with mostly cross trained officers as well as a few career fire supervisors.

KWWL is currently awaiting comment from the City of Cedar Falls.

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Taylor Vessel

Multimedia Reporter

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