Gov. Bevin Reorganizes State Fire Commission with Support of Kentucky’s Leading Firefighting Associations

Media Contact: Nicole Burton

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2019) – At the request of Kentucky’s three primary firefighting associations, Gov. Matt Bevin today issued an executive order that abolishes the former Commission on Fire Protection Personnel Standards and Education and recreates it with new membership requirements as the Kentucky Fire Commission.

The membership changes involve replacing former firefighter roles – which previously did not include any training or experience requirements – with roles that require future appointees to possess a minimum of 400 hours of training for career firefighters and 150 hours of training for volunteer firefighters, including five years of experience in the fire services.

Prior firefighter members were appointed by the Governor without a nomination process, but this reorganization requires the Kentucky Firefighters Association (KFA), the Kentucky Professional Firefighters Association (KPFA), and the Kentucky Association of Fire Chiefs (KAFC) to submit nominations for career and volunteer firefighter members to the Governor.

Also, for the purposes of improved expertise and collaboration, the presidents of these associations will serve on the Fire Commission as non-voting advisers. Other changes involve the elimination of a trustee position on the Commission, as well as replacing a Division of Emergency Management role with the Director of Homeland Security.

"The Kentucky Association of Fire Chiefs, in partnership with the KFA, KFPA and the Governor's Office, are excited about the restructuring of the Fire Commission," said Chief Gregg M. Bayer, KAFC president. "We have had multiple meetings to ensure the course forward is successful and equitable to all. This restructuring provides for diverse representation from across the Commonwealth in all matters related to fire service delivery. We would like to thank Gov. Bevin, his staff, and Boards and Commissions for the willingness to listen to and institute change. We would also like to thank Rep. Hart and Rep. Rothenburger for understanding our concerns, bringing them forward and supporting the Kentucky Fire Service."

Operationally, nothing will change for the Kentucky Fire Commission, as this executive order affects board membership only. However, until nominations are received – which is expected to be on Nov. 15, 2019 – and the Governor makes new appointments, three existing members will serve as the interim board, including Mayor Andrew Scott of Coal Run, State Fire Marshall Mike Haney, and Dustin Isaacs of Frankfort.

Legislation to codify the Governor’s executive order is expected to be co-sponsored by State Representatives Mark Hart and Rob Rothenburger, both firefighters themselves, who played key roles in the discussions which led to the Governor’s reorganization.

Click here to download a copy of Gov. Bevin's executive order.

Click here to download a photo of Gov. Bevin signing the executive order with firefighter association officials.