CHAPTER 15A. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.

§15A-10-1. State Fire Marshal and Office of the State Fire Marshal transferred to Department of Homeland Security; appointment of State Fire Marshal; removal; salary; qualifications; responsibilities; employees; equipment.

(a) The State Fire Marshal and the Office of the State Fire Marshal, heretofore existing in this code, are hereby continued in all respects except that all powers and duties exercised by the State Fire Commission with respect to the State Fire Marshal and the Office of the State Fire Marshal are terminated and all such powers and duties are hereby transferred to and vested in the Department of Homeland Security except as provided otherwise in this article.

(b) When a vacancy occurs in the position of State Fire Marshal, the Fire Commission, at the request of the Governor, shall submit a list of not more than three names to the Governor from which the Governor shall make the appointment. The Governor shall appoint a State Fire Marshal, from a list of names submitted by the Fire Commission. The State Fire Marshal serves at the will and pleasure of the Governor and is exempt from coverage under the classified civil service system.

(c) The State Fire Marshal shall have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university, or equivalent experience, and six years of full-time or part-time equivalent paid or volunteer experience in fire prevention or fire safety including two years in a supervisory capacity in fire prevention and fire safety.

(d) The State Fire Marshal, shall have full responsibility for the enforcement of fire and life safety programs in this state designated to minimize fire hazards and disaster and loss of life and property from these causes. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the establishment and enforcement of fire safety practices throughout the state, preventive inspection and correction activities, coordination of fire safety programs with volunteer and paid fire departments, and critical analysis and evaluation of West Virginia’s fire loss statistics for determination of problems and solutions.

(e) The State Fire Marshal may employ such technical, clerical, stenographic, and other personnel and fix their compensation and may incur such expenses as may be necessary in the performance of the duties of his or her office within the appropriation therefor. Employees of the Fire Marshal’s office shall be members of the state civil service system and all appointments of the office shall be a part of the classified service under the civil service system.

(f) The State Fire Marshal may employ a chief deputy fire marshal, who shall be classified exempt. The deputy shall have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university, or equivalent experience, and six years of full-time or part-time equivalent paid or volunteer experience in fire prevention or fire safety including two years in a supervisory capacity in fire prevention and fire safety.

(g) Any individual who is employed by the State Fire Marshal to conduct criminal investigations or who may become actively involved in matters of a criminal nature shall first be required to pass a civil service examination testing his or her competency and proficiency in the law of arrest, search and seizure, and other criminal procedures relating to the powers granted to the State Fire Marshal pursuant to the provisions of this article: Provided, That all new hires to sworn positions of Fire Marshal 1, 2, or 3 and deputy fire marshal, excluding the chief deputy as described in subdivision (f) of this section, shall comply with the law enforcement certification requirements set forth in §30-29-1 et seq.

(h) The State Fire Marshal and other personnel of the State Fire Marshal’s Office shall be provided with appropriate office space, furniture, equipment, supplies, stationery, and printing in the same manner as provided for other state agencies.

§15A-10-1. State Fire Marshal and Office of the State Fire Marshal transferred to Department of Homeland Security; appointment of State Fire Marshal; removal; salary; qualifications; responsibilities; employees; equipment.