Firefighters Protest Proposed State Fire Code Changes

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The State Fire Commission is proposing to enforce heavier regulations on volunteer fire departments, and that has firefighters fired up.

They say the regulations would be too expensive to follow and could jeopardize their departments' ability to function.

"We've crunched the numbers for my fire department alone, and it would cost approximately $65,000 to $70,000," said Tom Miller with the Sissonville Fire Department.

The commission wants to strike through language in a section of the fire code that would force adoption of more than 90 standards for departments. They would mandate stricter training and certification processes for volunteer firefighters.

Firefighters across the region gathered Friday morning at the Charleston Civic Center to speak out against the proposed changes.

"The extra cost and time it's going to take to get through the training could be detrimental to fire services as a whole in this state," said Jeremy Bryant with the Point Pleasant Fire Department. "I just hope the commission looks at all that before any decisions are made."

Firefighters say any violation of the state fire code is a misdemeanor crime that costs $100 per infraction per day without compliance.


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