UI alum among three finalists for Iowa City Fire Chief

The City of Iowa City has announced three finalists for the position of Iowa City Fire Chief ahead of the retirement of current Chief John Grier.

Marandah Mangra-Dutcher, News Reporter

A University of Iowa alum is among the final candidates named for the Iowa City Fire Chief position, as the department prepares for the retirement of current chief John Grier on Feb. 11.

Three final candidates have been named for the Iowa City Fire Chief as the department prepares for the retirement of Grier on Feb. 11, an Iowa City press release said.

Grier has been with the Iowa City Fire Department since 1992 and was named as fire chief in 2013. Under Grier’s leadership, the department has acquired land for two new fire stations, opened a training facility, and received reaccreditation.

Grier said in the press release that he is proud of the work the department has accomplished, and there is more to come.

“Though my career may officially be coming to an end, ICFD and Iowa City will forever remain a huge part of my life story,” he said.

The national search for Grier’s replacement began in fall 2021. After the recruitment process’s initial phase ended, Iowa City City Manager Geoff Fruin announced three finalists for the position on Wednesday.

The finalists include UI alumnus Scott Sarver, Scott Lyon, and Joseph Murray.

Scott Sarver

Sarver lives in Centennial, Colorado, where he has served with the South Metro Fire Rescue since 1998. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1993. In 2019, he graduated from Columbia Southern University with a master’s degree in public administration.

Scott Lyon

Lyon is a resident of Adel, Iowa. He was formerly a Deputy Fire Chief for the City of Clive, Iowa, and he is now the assistant fire chief at the Urbandale Fire Department.

He graduated from Waldorf College with a bachelor’s of science degree in fire service administration in 2014 and a master’s degree in organizational leadership in 2017.

Joseph Murray

Murray resides in Beloit, Wisconsin. He is the deputy fire chief for the City of Beloit, where he has served since 1994.

Murray graduated from Wisconsin State College with an associate’s degree in fire science in 1997. He also attended American Military University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in homeland security in 2011.

The announcement of who will receive the position will be made by Fruin, but a date was not specified in the press release.

The community will have the opportunity to meet the finalists at a public reception on Feb. 17, located at the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area’s Park Lodge, 579 McCollister Blvd. from 5:30-7 p.m.