A Hall County judge has given the city of Grand Island an April 9th deadline to respond to a complaint from a city fire captain.
Captain Scott Kuehl, along with others in the fire department, is upset the city has not yet filled the vacant fire chief position.
It's been more than a month since Grand Island has employed a full-time fire chief.
"The firefighters are concerned," Kuehl says.
Kuehl says the public should also be concerned with the lack of qualified leadership in the position.
Kuehl's complaint filed in February asks for the court's help to either force the city to hire a chief or explain why they're waiting.
"We had an interim fire chief and that has since ran out," Kuehl says. "I asked the interim fire chief what were the plans after that and he said there were no plans."
Firefighters say it's a position that's crucial to the operation of the department.
"There are many, many places in our contract that reference a fire chief and how to handle disciplinary issues, contract things, hiring, making sure people have completed training," Kuehl says.
"We have some budget things coming up," firefighter Chad Bluschke says. "We need the leadership in our department. Someone with fire background and that will lead us."
It's a matter of public safety they say can't be avoided any longer, but it's also a direct violation of state law.
"It's spelled out in the state statute that a city over 37,000 needs to have a fire chief," Bluschke says.
After the city responds to the complaint, Kuehl and his attorney will have 24 hours to respond back, then the judge will make his decision.
City officials still won't comment on why they haven't begun searching for someone to fill the position, but City Attorney Bob Sivick told Judge Livingston Thursday the city is waiting for results from a public safety study before moving forward with a job search.