§ 23-28.2-23. Fire education and training coordinating board.
(a) There is hereby created within the office of the state fire marshal a fire education and training coordinating board comprised of thirteen (13) members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. In making the appointments, the governor shall give due consideration to including in the board's membership representatives of the following groups:
(1) Chiefs of fire departments with predominately fully paid personnel, defined as departments in which the vast majority of members are full-time, salaried personnel.
(2) Chiefs of fire departments with part paid/combination personnel, defined as departments in which members consist of both full-time salaried personnel and a large percentage of volunteer or call personnel.
(3) Chiefs of fire departments with predominately volunteer personnel, defined as departments in which the vast majority of members respond voluntarily and receive little or no compensation.
(4) Rhode Island firefighters' instructor's association.
(5) Rhode Island department of environmental management.
(6) Rhode Island fire safety association.
(7) Rhode Island state firefighter's league.
(8) Rhode Island association of firefighters.
(9) Regional firefighters' leagues.
(b) The state fire marshal and the chief of training and education shall serve as ex-officio members.
(c) Members of the board as of March 29, 2006, shall continue to serve for the balance of their current terms. Thereafter, members shall be appointed to three-year (3) terms. No person shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms, except that service on the board for a term of less than two (2) years resulting from an initial appointment or an appointment for the remainder of an unexpired term shall not constitute a full term.
(d) Members shall hold office until a successor is appointed, and no member shall serve beyond the time he or she ceases to hold office or employment by reason of which he or she was eligible for appointment.
(e) All gubernatorial appointments made after March 29, 2006, shall be subject to the advice and consent of the senate. No person shall be eligible for appointment to the board after March 29, 2006, unless he or she is a resident of this state.
(f) Members shall serve without compensation, but shall receive travel expenses in the same amount per mile approved for state employees.
(g) The board shall meet at the call of the chairperson or upon written petition of a majority of the members, but not less than six (6) times per year.
(h) Staff support to the board will be provided by the state fire marshal.
(i) The board shall:
(1) Establish bylaws to govern operational procedures not addressed by legislation.
(2) Elect a chairperson and vice-chairperson of the board in accordance with bylaws to be established by the board.
(3) Develop and offer training programs for firefighters and fire officers based on applicable National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards used to produce training and education courses.
(4) Develop and offer state certification programs for instructors based on NFPA standards.
(5) Monitor and evaluate all programs to determine their effectiveness.
(6) Establish a fee structure in an amount necessary to cover costs of implementing the programs.
(7) Within ninety (90) days after the end of each fiscal year, approve and submit an annual report to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the secretary of state of its activities during that fiscal year. The report shall provide: an operating statement summarizing meetings or hearings held, including meeting minutes, subjects addressed, decisions rendered, rules or regulations promulgated, studies conducted, policies and plans developed, approved, or modified and programs administered or initiated; a consolidated financial statement of all funds received and expended including the source of the funds, a listing of any staff supported by these funds, and a summary of any clerical, administrative, or technical support received; a summary of performance during the previous fiscal year including accomplishments, shortcomings, and remedies; a synopsis of hearings, complaints, suspensions, or other legal matters related to the authority of the council; a summary of any training courses held pursuant to the provisions of this section; a briefing on anticipated activities in the upcoming fiscal year and findings and recommendations for improvements. The report shall be posted electronically on the general assembly and secretary of state's websites as prescribed in § 42-20-8.2. The director of the department of administration shall be responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of this subsection.
(8) Conduct a training course for newly appointed and qualified members within six (6) months of their qualification or designation. The course shall be developed by the chair of the board, approved by the board, and conducted by the chair of the board. The board may approve the use of any board or staff members or other individuals to assist with training. The training course shall include instruction in the following areas: the provisions of chapter 46 of title 42, chapter 14 of title 36, and chapter 2 of title 38; and the commission's rules and regulations. The state fire marshal shall, within ninety (90) days of March 29, 2006, prepare and disseminate training materials relating to the provisions of chapter 46 of title 42, chapter 14 of title 36, and chapter 2 of title 38.
(j) In an effort to prevent potential conflicts of interest, any fire education and training coordinating board member shall not simultaneously serve as a paid instructor and/or administrator within the fire education and training unit.
(k) A quorum for conducting all business before the board, shall be at least seven (7) members.
(l) Members of the board shall be removable by the governor pursuant to the provisions of § 36-1-7 and for cause only, and removal solely for partisan or personal reasons unrelated to capacity or fitness for the office shall be unlawful.
(P.L. 1985, ch. 457, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 113, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 370, art. 40, § 75; P.L. 2001, ch. 180, § 54; P.L. 2006, ch. 14, § 3; P.L. 2006, ch. 16, § 3; P.L. 2008, ch. 100, art. 9, § 5; P.L. 2012, ch. 415, § 21; P.L. 2018, ch. 47, art. 3, § 4.)