A former London fire chief has been elected to lead the Ohio State Fire Council as chairman for 2017.
Matt Noble, who currently serves as the Orange Township chief in Delaware, was appointed to the council July 2012 by Gov. John Kasich.
A London resident, Noble started his career with the London Fire Department in 1992 as a volunteer. He worked his way up the ladder, serving as London’s chief from December 2002 to November 2004, when he accepted a position with the Orange Township Fire Department.
Noble said state fire marshal Larry Flowers, 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 Firefighters.”
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 programs every September.
“Every year nominations are made for a citizen’s award,” he said. “A citizen 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.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.