H. B. 3011
(By Delegates Michael, Leach, Proudfoot, Browning,
Warner, R. M. Thompson and Border)
[Passed March 8, 2003; in effect from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact section nine, article three, chapter
twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to authorizing the
state fire commission to establish standards and procedures to
implement the provisions of the section.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section nine, article three, chapter twenty-nine of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL ACT.
§29-3-9. Powers, duties and authority of state fire commission
state fire marshal.
(a) The state fire commission may employ personnel, fix their
compensation and, within funds available to do so, incur expenses
as necessary in the performance of the duties of its office.
(b) The state fire commission is responsible for fire programs within this state, including the state fire marshal's office,
training, uniform standards and certification, finance and planning
and fire prevention.
(c) All state and area training and education in fire service
shall be coordinated by the state fire commission. The state fire
marshal shall ensure that these programs are operated throughout
the state at a level consistent with needs identified by the
(d) The state fire commission shall develop minimum training
levels for firefighters, minimum levels of equipment needed to
protect life and property within fire service areas, minimum
performance standards the departments must meet in response times,
communications, minimum levels of water flow and pressure and other
performance measures as considered necessary to meet the overall
goals of improved fire prevention and control. The state fire
commission may make recommendations to the state insurance
commissioner regarding town classifications for fire insurance
(e) The formation of any new fire department, including
volunteer fire departments, requires the concurrence of the state
fire commission. The state fire commission shall develop a method
of certification which can be applied to all fire departments and
volunteer fire departments.
(f) The state fire commission shall develop a plan for fire
prevention and control which shall include, but not be limited to, the following areas: Manpower needs; location of training centers;
location of fire prevention and control units; communications;
fire-fighting facilities; water sources; vehicular needs; public
education and information; public participation; standardization in
record keeping; evaluation of personnel; reporting of fire hazards;
programs on mutual aid; location of public safety agencies; outline
of fire prevention programs; and accessibility of fire prevention
(g) The state fire commission shall establish fire protection
areas and at such times as funds are available shall establish
field offices for inspection, planning and certification.
(h) The state fire marshal may accept, on behalf of the state
fire commission, gifts, grants, court ordered civil forfeiture
proceedings and bequests of funds or property from individuals,
foundations, corporations, the federal government, governmental
agencies and other organizations or institutions. The state fire
marshal, acting on behalf of the state fire commission, may enter
into, sign and execute any agreements and do and perform any acts
that may be necessary, useful, desirable or convenient to
effectuate the purposes of this article. Moneys from gifts,
grants, civil forfeiture proceedings and bequests received by the
state fire marshal shall be deposited into the special account set
forth in subsection (c), section twelve-b of this article, and the
state fire marshal, with the approval of the state fire commission,
has the authority to make expenditures of, or use of any tangible property, in order to effectuate the purposes of this article.
(i) The state fire commission shall establish standards and
procedures by policy to implement the provisions of this section
with regard to the following:
(1) Fire prevention and control;
(2) Uniform standards of performance, equipment and training;
(4) Training and education in fire service; and
(5) The creation, operation and responsibilities of fire
departments throughout the state.