Cedar Falls Fire Chief leaving - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls Fire Chief leaving

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

One eastern Iowa city will soon be saying goodbye to its fire chief.

Cedar Falls Fire Chief John Schilling has led the department for 7 years. Coming to the Cedar Valley from Ankeny, Chief Schilling has nearly 30 years of experience.

He will be taking that experience to the Chicago suburbs.

After leading the Cedar Falls Fire Department through hundreds of fire since 2009, Chief Schilling says it is time to move on.

"It was a mix of wanting to further my career, advance into a larger department, manage a larger budget. Then also a really strong desire to get closer to family. All that is being rolled up into one great package in the village of Carpentersville, Illinois," said Chief Schilling.

But even with a great opportunity like this one, "it wasn't an easy decision to look for that job and accept that job," said Chief Schilling.

And it wasn't one the department saw coming.

"I was a little shocked. We are a little stunned by that, but we wish the chief the best in his new endeavor. A very exciting move for him to go over to that Chicago area," said Cedar Falls Fire Battalion Chief John Bostwick.

A bitter sweet decision, but the chief hopes he has left the department better than he found it.

"Just want to thank everybody for the support that the community has given me to really take the fire department to a new level and to provide better public fire protection; especially in the area of education and fire prevention," said Chief Schilling.

Director of Public Safety and Services Jeff Olson will be meeting with the union and battalion chiefs next week to appoint an acting chief and begin the process of replacing Chief Schilling.

Chief Schilling's last day will be June 23rd, but it will take several months to find a permanent replacement.

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