Cedar Falls firefighter’s union files lawsuit against city for PSO promotions

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) – The debate regarding Public Safety Officers in Cedar Falls will move to the courtroom.

A 17-page lawsuit filed by the International Association of Firefighter’s details the duties of nine supervisor positions within Cedar Falls and claims the public safety officers taking over those roles are unqualified. It goes on to question their physical capabilities and experience.

One line in the lawsuit claims that some candidates have never worked a day as a full-time firefighter.

According to the lawsuit of the nine candidates, seven would rank above a fire captain but below a battalion chief. Two would be ranked below the fire chief.

It goes on to claim that requirements changed for fire captains last December, changing it from needing 4 years professional firefighting experience to 4 years any (volunteer, part-time, on-call) kind of firefighting experience.

“Full-time experience in your department is unique, it’s required, it’s the single most important element of being a fire supervisor is that you have years of that in your department, and that’s exactly what these supervisors don’t have,” said Cedar Falls Firefighter’s Association President Scott Dix.

The lawsuit asks for 2 things – an injunction and a declaration. The injunction to stop the promotions and a declaration that they’re unlawful in the first place — hoping the city will rescind those promotions.

You can read the full lawsuit below:


The city’s statement is included below.

The City of Cedar Falls has received a copy of the lawsuit filed on behalf of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 1366.  The matter has been referred to the City’s labor counsel and is currently under review.  The City is confident in its promotional processes and intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit.

“I have extreme confidence in our public safety professionals and the promotional process of our Public Safety Department, which goes through the civil service commission as required by state laws,” said Mayor Jim Brown. “We greatly value all of our dedicated public safety professionals.  We are confident that all members of our public safety team are highly qualified, well-trained and absolutely committed to protecting our City and its people.”

About the Cedar Falls Public Safety Department

The City of Cedar Falls is committed to providing its residents with the most efficient, effective public safety model possible as approved by the City Council.  The Cedar Falls Public Safety Department is backed by an ISO level 3 rating, which is determined by an independent third party study and places the Cedar Falls Fire Division in the top 3.5% of all fire departments in Iowa.

Taylor Vessel

Taylor Vessel

Multimedia Reporter
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