About the Department
Under the direction of the City of Wilmington Revised Statutes and Codes, the Fire Chief is required to provide fire protection for the City of Wilmington. In addition to firefighting, fire protection includes a wide range of fire prevention measures including the formulation and adoption of fire codes, inspections to insure compliance with the codes, investigations to determine the origin and cause of fires, and education to the public regarding fire safety. The Fire Prevention Division, also known as the Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO), is responsible for carrying out these duties for the Fire Chief.
The Fire Marshal’s Office is under the direction of the Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention who serves as the City’s Fire Marshal. The FMO is currently staffed by a Captain in charge of code enforcement, a Lieutenant in charge of fire investigations, three inspectors, and a public education specialist. Two civilian staff members with include a plans review examiner and an administrative clerk.
The Fire Prevention Division is responsible for developing and implementing special fire safety programs. The specialty programs are designed to promote public fire safety messages and to provide a positive department presence in the community. The Public Safety Specialist works with educational facilities, daycares, and community organizations to spread the message of fire safety to the citizens of Wilmington. The FMO Office also manages a smoke detector and CO detector program which provides smoke detectors and CO detectors free of charge to homeowners in the City of Wilmington.
The FMO also includes investigators who have the authority to investigate cause, origin, and circumstances of any fire or explosion occurring within the City. The investigators take custody of all physical evidence relating to the cause of the fire or explosion and when necessary work with other agencies to bring the investigation to conclusion. These investigators must complete the Wilmington Police Department Police Academy and are certified Law Enforcement Officers. In addition, investigators complete many hours of training in origin and cause determinations, evidence collection, interview techniques, and courtroom testimony.
To maintain a fire safe environment through the enforcement of fire safety codes and standards, the presentation of effective public education programs, and investigating the origin and cause of fires within the City of Wilmington.