Proposed ordinance for local fire marshals to move departments

Proposed ordinance for local fire marshals to move departments

Amarillo, TX - It's a discussion that's been in the works for years. The City of Amarillo is moving to have our local fire marshals become apart of the city's Development Services Department, making their boss the Assistant City Manager, Bob Cowell.

Amarillo Fire Chief, Jeff Greenlee says moving the fire marshals from his department to the city's Development Services Department is a smart move.

"I think it's going to enable them to be very productive," said Greenlee. "They will also serve the citizen's well being in that group to where a lot of these things already take place with planning, reviews, and working with code enforcement."

In Tuesday's council meeting, City Manager Jarrett Atkinson also said this decision makes sense, because firefighters and fire marshals do different jobs.

Our local fire marshals weren't opposed to the idea, but other agencies were. The president of the local Firefighters Union, Dana Havlik says the Assistant City Manager doesn't fully understand what fire marshal's do.

"Mainly because we feel that the fire chief should have oversight over those particular positions," said Havlik. "Most of all, the jobs that they perform and the jobs that we perform as firefighters are interrelated and they affect each other."

This was the first hearing on this ordinance, but the council ended up tabling the discussion until next week.

This isn't the first time the fire marshals were not associated with the fire department. Up until the last 80's, they worked under the city's public works.