For the purposes of this article, unless a different meaning clearly appears in the context:
(a) "Bureau of apprenticeship and training" means the bureau of apprenticeship and training of the United States department of labor;
(b) "Certificate of certification" means a certificate issued by the bureau of apprenticeship and training stating that a person has complied with the standards set forth in this article;
(c) "Local training board" means the board of the local paid fire department required to be established by the standards set forth in section two of this article;
(d) "Municipality" means any incorporated town or city whose boundaries lie within the geographic boundaries of the state;
(e) "Paid fire department" means those paid fire departments established under the provisions of section nine, article fifteen, chapter eight of this code;
(f) "Professional firefighter" means those persons who are employed by a municipality in the state that has a paid fire department;
(g) "State" means the State of West Virginia;
(h) "State board" means the professional firefighters certification board of apprenticeship and training as established in section three of this article;
(i) "West Virginia professional fire chiefs association" means the association representing paid fire chiefs in the State of West Virginia; and
(j) "Professional firefighters of West Virginia" means the association representing paid firefighters in the State of West Virginia.
All original appointments in a paid fire department subject to the civil service provisions of section sixteen, article fifteen, chapter eight of this code, made after June 12, 1987, shall enroll and complete the requirements as registered with the bureau of apprenticeship and training of the United States department of labor, for the craft of fire fighting.
(a) A professional firefighters certification board of apprenticeship and training is hereby created and assigned responsibility for review of programs and standards, for training of apprenticeship and certification of professional firefighters in the state. The state board shall be comprised of five members including two representatives appointed by each of the following: The professional firefighters of West Virginia; the West Virginia professional fire chiefs association, and one representative from the bureau of apprenticeship and training of the United States department of labor.
(b) The state board shall elect a chairperson. Meetings may be held upon the call of the chairperson. A majority of the members of the state board constitutes a quorum.
The professional firefighters certification board of apprenticeship and training shall, by or pursuant to rule or regulation:
(a) Establish standards governing the quality of training of paid fire departments in the state pursuant to section two of this article.
(b) Establish the level of skill required for certification.
(c) Adopt procedures for the local training board to follow in securing certification of a paid firefighter by the bureau of apprenticeship and training of the United States department of labor.
(d) Certify the paid firefighter as provided in section five of this article and request a certificate of certification from the bureau of apprenticeship and training of the United States department of labor to the person that has qualified.
Standards for certification must meet or exceed those of the National Fire Protection Association Standards No. 1001 as amended and updated from year to year.
The state board shall annually review the training curriculum of local training boards offered pursuant to the provisions of this article, and shall make recommendations to improve the quality and sufficiency of training to secure certification of paid firefighters.
The state board shall ensure employer and employee compliance with this article. The chief of the paid fire department and the local training board shall see and assure compliance with all established criteria.
The provisions of this article shall be liberally construed to accomplish its objectives and purposes.