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Date: Sep 2, 2021

Location: Durham, NC, US, 27701

Company: Durham County

Durham County Government employs approximately 1,900 employees that work towards providing needed services throughout the community. With a wide array of services, Durham County Government is at the heart of a rapidly growing and diverse area offering residents, employees and visitors exciting opportunities to live, work, grow and play. For more information about Durham County Government, visit



Fire Marshal/Emergency Mgmt

DATE POSTED:            

August 4, 2021

CLOSING DATE:           

Open until filled





POSITION NUMBER:            






The work performed is responsible protective services activities in fire prevention and life safety, fire origin and cause investigation.


Work is performed under the direction of the Chief Fire Marshal of the Fire Marshal Division.



  • Conducts fire inspections of Level I, II and III occupancies within the county for compliance with the North Carolina Fire Code.
  • Conducts reviews of proposed commercial development to include review of site plans, fire protection plans and building construction plans.
  • Promote community risk reduction by developing promoting and delivering fire prevention, life safety and general educational safety programs.
  • Reviews fire and emergency plans developed by local businesses, industries, and emergency response agencies and makes recommendations for improvements consistent with guidance provided in the North Carolina Fire Code.
  • Responds to fires and conducts cause/origin investigations; coordinates efforts with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and prepares reports to be used in the prosecution of incendiary fires.
  • Participates in Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activations during disasters and emergencies.
  • Drives, operates and moves specialized response and recovery vehicles, trailers and equipment;
  • Checks and maintains vehicles, trailers and support equipment related to emergency preparedness responsibilities; and
  • Performs other duties as assigned.



  • Position requires thorough knowledge of the principles, practices, and techniques of modern suppression systems and fire prevention practices and must also possess the ability to apply this knowledge to fire prevention laws and ordinances, principles of public administration and code enforcement.
  • Position requires working knowledge of fire and building codes and laws: basic knowledge of the principles, techniques, and design of fixed fire suppression and detection systems; and the ability to read and interpret plans and blueprints.
  • Must be able to make mathematical calculations. Position requires the ability to speak and deal tactfully and effectively with people he/she comes in contact; communicate orally and in writing to analyze the concepts necessary for accomplishment of required written and oral records and reports; and exhibit an ability to positively represent the department and jurisdiction in the community at large
  • Position requires knowledge of fire ground hazards, types of evidence, importance of fire scene security, evidence preservation and issues relating to spoilation. Position must be knowledgeable of the types of building construction and the effects of fire on construction materials, types of evidence commonly found in the perimeter, evidence preservation methods, the effects of fire suppression, fire behavior and spread, fire patterns, and a basic awareness of the dangers of hazardous materials.
  • Position must possess the knowledge of interior finish and the effects of fire on those materials, the effects of building contents on fire growth, the relationship of building contents to the overall investigation, weather conditions at the time of fire and fuel moisture. Position required to have knowledge about fire dynamics, fire development, and the interrelationship of heat release rate, form and ignitibility of materials. Position must be knowledgeable of fire behavior, spread based on chemistry, physics, understanding of ignition processes, characteristics of ignition sources, ease of ignition of fuels; debris-layering techniques; use of tools and equipment during the debris search; types of fire cause evidence commonly found in various degrees of damage; and evidence-gathering methods and documentation. Must possess the knowledge of the effects of fire on different types of material and the importance of reconstruction. Requires the knowledge of different types of detection, suppression, HVAC, utility and building complementation such as fire/smoke walls/barriers and fire doors; types of expert resources for building systems; the impact of fire on various systems; common methods used to defeat a system's functional capability; and types of failures.
  •  Position requires knowledge on different types of explosions and their causes, characteristics of an explosion, and the difference between low-and high-order explosions. Required knowledge of commonly used symbols and legends that clarify the diagram, types of evidence and patterns that need to be documented, and formats for diagramming the scene. Working knowledge of high-resolution camera and flash, the types of film, media, and flash available and the strengths and limitations of each. Understanding the relationship between notes, diagrams, photos and how to reduce scene information into concise notes and use the notes during report writing and legal proceedings. Knowledge of the types of evidence associated with fire victims and fatalities and evidence preservation methods. Knowledge of types of evidence, authority requirements, impact of removing evidentiary items on civil or criminal proceedings (exclusionary or fire-cause supportive evidence), types , capabilities, and limitations of standard and special tools used to locate evidence, types of laboratory tests available, packaging techniques and materials, and impacts of evidence collection on the investigation. Knowledge on purposes for submitting items for analysis, types of analytical services available, and capabilities and limitations of the services performing the analysis. Knowledge with rules of custody and transfer procedures, types of evidence and methods of recording the chain of custody. Disposal services available and common disposal procedures and problems. Persons who can provide information that furthers the fire cause determination or the affixing of responsibility, types of questions that are pertinent and efficient to ask of different information sources, pros and cons of interviews versus document gathering. Types of interviews, personal information needed for proper documentation or follow-up, documenting methods and tools, and types of nonverbal communications and their meaning. Types of interviews, report evaluation methods and data correlation methods. Types of reports needed that facilitate determining responsibility for the fire and location of these reports. File assessment and/or evaluation methods, including accurate documentation practices, and requisite investigative elements. How to assess one's own expertise, qualification to be called for expert testimony, types of expert resources and methods to identify expert resources. Types of motives common to incendiary fires, methods used to discover opportunity, and human behavioral patterns relative to fire-setting. Analytical methods and procedures. Elements of writing, typical components of a written report and types of audiences and their respective needs or requirements. Types of investigative findings, the informational needs of various types of audiences, and the impact of releasing information. Types of investigative findings, types of legal proceedings, professional demeanor requirements, and an understanding of due process and legal proceedings.
  • Position requires use of marking devices, ability to assess fire ground and structural condition, observe the damage from and effects of the fire, and interpret fire patterns. Ability to assess structural conditions, observe the damage and effects of the fire, discover the impact of fire suppression efforts on fire flow and heat propagation, and evaluate protected areas to determine the presence and/or absence of contents. Ability to interpret the effects of burning characteristics on different types of materials. Ability to interpret variations of fire patterns on different materials with consideration given to heat release rate, form, and ignitibility; distinguish impact of different types of fuel loads; evaluate fuel trails; and analyze and synthesize information. Ability to employ search techniques that further discovery of fire cause evidence and ignition sources, use search techniques that incorporate documentation, and collect and preserve evidence. Ability to examine all materials to determine the effects of fire, identify and distinguish among different types of fire-damaged contents, and return materials to their original position using protected areas and fire patterns. Ability to determine the system's operation and its effect on the fire; identify alterations to, and failure indicators of, building systems; and evaluate the impact of suppression efforts on building systems. Ability to identify explosive effects on glass, walls, foundations, and other building materials; distinguish between low- and high-order explosion effects; and analyze damage to document the blast zone and origin. Ability to sketch the scene, basic drafting skills, and evidence recognition and observational skills. Ability to use a high-resolution camera, flash and accessories. Data -reduction skills, note-taking skills, and observational and correlating skills. Observational skills and the ability to apply protocols to given situations. Ability to recognize different types of evidence and determine whether evidence is critical to the investigation. Ability to evaluate the fire incident to determine forensic, engineering, or laboratory needs. Ability to execute the chain of custody procedures and accurately complete necessary documents. Documentation skills. Planning skills, development of focused questions for specific individuals, and evaluation of existing file data to help develop questions and fill investigative gaps. Data correlation skills and the ability to evaluate source information. Ability to identify the reports and documents necessary for the investigation, implement the chain of custody, and organizational skills. Information assessment, correlation, and organizational skills. Ability to apply expert resources to further the investigation by networking with other investigators to identify experts, questioning experts relative to their qualifications, and developing a utilization plan for use of expert resources. Financial analysis, records gathering and analysis, interviewing, and interpreting fire scene information and evidence for relationship to motive and/or opportunity. Analytical and assimilation skills. Writing skills, ability to analyze information and determine the reader's needs or requirements. Communication skills and ability to determine audience needs and correlate findings. Communication and listening skills and ability to differentiate facts from opinion and determine accepted procedures, practices, and etiquette during legal proceedings.
  • A working knowledge of educational methodology, an in-depth understanding of the fire service and its role in the community, and an understanding of fire service management, policies, and procedures.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills, an ability to effectively observe and evaluate the work of others, and the ability to be professionally accepted by the fire service and the educational community.
  • Must be available for call-back during significant emergencies and disasters.





Requires North Carolina Fire Inspector Level III certification, Firefighter Level II; or NC Fire Inspector III Probationary Certification and must obtain NC Fire Inspector Level III certification within 6 months of employment.


Preferred candidates will also have a North Carolina Associate Emergency Manager, Executive Emergency Manager, or equivalent designation from the International Association of Emergency Managers (AEM / CEM).




Requires an Associate’s Degree in Fire Prevention, Fire Science or related field and four years of fire services or related experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.



Durham County Government is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Nearest Major Market: Durham
Nearest Secondary Market: Raleigh