Orange Township Fire Chief Matt Noble has been elected to lead the Ohio State Fire Council as chairman for 2017. Noble was appointed to the council July 2012 by Gov. John Kasich.
Noble said Larry Flowers, state fire marshal, will retire in May and the council will have a hand in picking his successor.
“There’s steps involved,” Noble said. ”We’re one of those steps.”
Noble said the State Fire Marshal is a part of the Department of Commerce.
“We assist the director of commerce in the selection and recommendation process,” Noble said. “Once a collection of resumes are received the council review’s them. We select three names from to send to the director of commerce. If one is selected, it’s submitted to the governor for review and appointment.”
Noble said in the past the fire marshals have been retired fire chiefs. He said Flowers was a retired fire chief, but had also had served as a state representative and a township administrator.
Noble said when some fire chiefs retire they become involved in their communities or with associations.
“But some just retire and they enjoy retirement,” he said.
Noble said the official members of the council is made up of representatives from all the major industries such as the paid fire service, the volunteer fire service, members of municipalities, commerce and industry, the construction industry, the flammable liquids industry, the fire insurance industry and a member of the (general) public.
“I represent the paid fire service through the Ohio Fire Chiefs,” Noble said. “The other paid fire service seat is through the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters.”
Noble said when a seat on the council becomes available the council reaches out to the appropriate group to fill it.
“They ask typically for three names to be sent up,” Noble said. “The names are vetted, they’re looked at, then the appointment is made.”
Noble said the other duties of the State Fire Council’s duties include “conducting research and publishing reports on fire safety for the Governor and the Ohio State General Assembly. The council will also review the state fire code and make recommendations for revisions to the fire marshal.”
Noble said the council maintains the fire service hall of fame and awards program every September.
“Every year nominations are made for a citizen’s award,” he said. “A citizen that that saved a life or a fire service member who went above and beyond the line of duty.”
Noble has been a member of the Ohio Fire Chief’s Association since the early 2000s.
“Being in the south central district I was asked if I would be interested to sit on the Ohio Fire Chief’s Association’s south central district.” Noble said. “I’ve been on the board ever since. Last year I took over as the sergeant of arms.”
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.