Senate Bill No. 505
(Senators Bowman, Jenkins, Bailey and Plymale, original sponsors)
[Passed March 8, 2003; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact section eleven, article fifteen,
chapter eight of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to municipal fire
chiefs; and authorizing retention of rank attained during
service as fire chief when tenure as fire chief ends.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section eleven, article fifteen, chapter eight of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 15. FIREFIGHTING; FIRE COMPANIES AND DEPARTMENTS; CIVIL
SERVICE FOR PAID FIRE DEPARTMENTS.
PART IV. CIVIL SERVICE FOR PAID FIRE DEPARTMENTS.
§8-15-11. Qualifications for appointment or promotion to positions
in paid fire departments to be ascertained by
examination; provisions exclusive as to appointments,
etc.; rights of certain chiefs; "appointing officer" defined.
(a) All appointments and promotions to all positions in all
paid fire departments shall be made only according to
qualifications and fitness to be ascertained by examinations,
which, so far as practicable, shall be competitive, as hereinafter
(b) No individual may be appointed, promoted, reinstated,
removed, discharged, suspended or reduced in rank or pay as a paid
member of any paid fire department, regardless of rank or position,
in any manner or by any means other than those prescribed in this
article: Provided, That in all municipalities in which the office
of fire chief of a paid fire department was not covered by the
provisions of former article six-a of this chapter on the first day
of January, one thousand nine hundred forty-nine, the office in the
municipality shall be excepted from the civil service provisions of
article fifteen of this chapter, until the time the governing body
of the municipality shall, by appropriate ordinance or resolution
adopted by a majority of its members, elect to place the office of
fire chief under the civil service provisions of this article.
(c) Until the office of fire chief is placed under the civil
service provisions of this article by the governing body, the
member of any paid fire department now occupying such office or
hereafter appointed to such office shall in all cases of removal,
except for removal for good cause, retain the status he or she held
in the paid fire department at the time of his or her appointment
to the office of fire chief or which he or she attained during his or her term as fire chief.
(d) The term "appointing officer" as used in this article shall
mean the municipal officer in whom the power of appointment of
members of a paid fire department is vested by charter provision or
ordinance of the municipality.