Job Title: Fire Inspector
Reports to: Assistant Fire Chief
Under general direction of the Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshal, assists in the administration, coordination, and the operations of the Fire Prevention & Training Division. The Inspector conducts Fire safety inspections of new and existing structures and properties for construction, occupancy, fire protection, and exposures; prepares correspondence and inspection reports; handles complaints; and maintains records for both Fire Prevention and Department-wide training efforts to meet the requirements of NFPA, Georgia Standards and Training Council, the Georgia Fire Academy, and the Insurance Services Offices. Develops training classes and provides instruction. Responds to structure fires as needed. Performs any and all other related duties as assigned, for the promotion of Fire and Life Safety in the City of Brunswick. Work is assigned in accordance with department objectives and goals, by daily routine, requests for assistance, and by special requests. Work will be performed with considerable independence. Work will be evaluated by observation, conferences, reports, and results obtained. Performs other related duties as appropriate, in support of customer needs and organizational objectives.
Essential Functions of the Job
- Conducts inspections and prepares inspection reports, given observations from a field inspection, so that the report is clear and concise and accurately reflects the findings of the inspection in accordance with applicable codes and standards.
- Investigates common complaints, given a reported situation or condition, so that complaint information is recorded accurately, the appropriate process is initiated, and the complaint is resolved.
- Maintains files, inspection reports and records, complaint investigations, and related documents, so that information can be easily retrieved and is filed in compliance with department policy.
- Identifies the applicable code or standard, given a fire protection, fire prevention, or life safety issue, so that the proper document, edition, and section are referenced.
- Identifies the occupancy classification of a single or multi-use occupancy, given a set of plans, specifications, and a description of the occupancy and its use, so that an accurate classification is made according to the applicable codes and standards.
- Computes the allowable occupant load of a single or multi-use occupancy or portion thereof, given a plan, and a detailed description of the occupancy, so that the calculated allowable occupant load is established in accordance with applicable codes and standards.
- Inspects and verifies means of egress elements, given plans or observations made during a field inspection of an existing building, or other sites or structures (e.g. tent, membrane structure, special amusement structure, trade show, or temporary structure) and occupant load, so that means of egress elements are maintained in compliance with applicable codes and standards and all deficiencies are identified, documented, and reported in accordance with department policy.
- Verifies the type of construction for an addition or remodeling project, given field observations or a description of the project and the materials being used, so that the construction type is classified and recorded in accordance with the applicable codes and standards and department policy.
- Determines the operational readiness of existing fixed fire suppression systems, fire detection and alarm systems, and fire extinguishers, given field observations and test documentation, so that the systems and equipment are in an operational state, maintenance is documented, and all deficiencies are identified, documented, and reported.
- Recognizes hazardous conditions involving equipment, processes, and operations, given field observations, so that the equipment, processes, or operations are conducted and maintained in accordance with applicable codes and standards and all deficiencies are identified, documented, and reported.
- Compares an approved plan to an installed fire protection system, given approved plans and field observations, so that any modifications to the system are identified, documented, and reported.
- Verifies that emergency planning and preparedness measures are in place and have been practiced, given field observations, copies of emergency plans, and records of exercises, so that plans are prepared and exercises have been performed in accordance with applicable codes and standards all deficiencies are identified, documented, and reported.
- Inspects emergency vehicle access and evaluates code compliance for a site, given field observations, so that the required access for emergency responders is maintained or so that deficiencies are identified, documented, and corrected in accordance with applicable codes and standards.
- Verifies code compliance for incidental storage, handling, and use of flammable and combustible liquids and gases, and hazardous materials, given field observations and inspection guidelines, so that applicable codes and standards are addressed and all deficiencies are identified, documented, and reported.
- Recognizes a hazardous fire growth potential in a building or space, given field observations, so that the hazardous conditions are identified, documented, and reported.
- Prepares written correspondence to communicate fire protection and prevention practices, given a common fire safety or a plan review issue, so that the correspondence is concise, accurately reflects applicable codes and standards, and is appropriate for the intended audience.
- Testifies at legal proceedings, given the findings of a field inspection, a complaint, or a plan review and consultation with legal counsel, so that all information is presented accurately and the Inspector’s demeanor is appropriate to the proceeding.
- Reviews building plans and prepares reports, given observations from a plan review, so that the report is clear, concise, and accurately reflects the findings of the plan review in accordance with applicable codes and standards.
- Coordinates work with City Building Official’s Office.
- Communicates the process for plan submittal and review to the design professional, given an inquiry, so that the information is complete and accurate and provided in accordance with the policies and procedures of the jurisdiction.
- Facilitates the resolution of deficiencies identified during the plan review, given a submittal and the established practices and procedures, so that deficiencies are identified, documented, and reported to the plan submitter with applicable references to codes and standards, and alternative methods for compliance are identified.
- Verifies the classification of the construction type, given a site plan and building construction documents, including the proposed area, height, number of stories, and location, so that the proposed building is properly classified in accordance with applicable codes and standards and deficiencies are identified, documented, and reported.
- Evaluates code compliance for required fire flow and hydrant location and spacing, given a site plan, required fire flow, and fire flow test results, so that the required fire flow is available, hydrants are properly located, and all discrepancies are identified, documented, and reported.
- Evaluates code compliance of HVAC, and other building service equipment and operations, given plans and specifications, so that the systems and other equipment are provided in accordance with applicable codes and standards and all deficiencies are identified, documented, and reported.
- Maintain records of events and actions to evaluate the effectiveness of programs on Life Safety. Maintains recommendations to the Fire Marshall.
- Maintains a dynamic schedule to allow for routine tasks and special events to be completed effectively and without conflict.
- Identifies partners for addressing fire and life safety issues, with community agencies, organizations, and associations, so that information and resources are shared.
- Selects and presents instructional materials, given a subject, learning objectives, the intended audience, and related resources, so that the materials are specific to the audience and activity objectives.
- Assists in the investigation of fire scenes so as to determine the origin and cause of the fire and prepare reports in accordance with accepted protocol.
- Responds to emergency scenes and other incidents when called and serves as required.
- Performs related duties assigned for the promotion of the Fire and Life Safety in the City of Brunswick and other duties as assigned, in support of customer needs and organizational objectives.
- Assists Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshal with the planning, instruction and record keeping of training classes as needed. Assists in arranging Fire Academy class and certification classes via the Georgia Standards and Training Council.
Other Tasks and Responsibilities
Performs other related duties as assigned, in support of customer needs and organizational objectives.
Knowledge, Skill, Abilities and Other Characteristics:
- Ability to establish and maintain an acceptable level of knowledge and understanding in all applicable codes and standards, regulations, and administrative procedures.
- Ability to set and meet goals and objectives. Ability to manage time, and plan, organizes, and prioritizes work such that work is completed according to plans and schedules. Ability to manage multiple tasks, and to be flexible in changing priorities.
- Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with a wide variety of individuals with varied backgrounds. Ability to write business correspondence, reports, and instructional documents. Ability to communicate technical information to non-technical users.
- Ability to develop and maintain effective interpersonal working relationships with customers and co-workers. Ability to use tact and diplomacy in interactions with other. Ability to persuade and explain information for the purpose of reaching agreement and understanding.
- Ability to comply with, support, and to evaluate the City’s risk management plan its philosophy.
- Ability to anticipate problems and proactively resolve them. Ability to problem solving skills, considering all reasonable alternatives, and make recommendations for problem resolution.
- Ability to work independently, as well as with a team, and follow through to task completion.
- Ability to maintain confidential information.
- Ability to maintain accurate and complete records in accordance with the Department procedures and in such manner that they are easily retrieved.
- Knowledge of various sources for reference materials related to code enforcement and ability to conduct thorough code-related research.
- Ability to interpret codes and standards and apply the same with consistency and fairness.
- Knowledge of or ability to quickly learn about the legal requirements for record retention, freedom of information requests, community right-to-know laws, operational procedures of the organization, evidence rules in the legal system, chain of custody, and knowledge of types of legal proceedings related to the Fire Inspector’s job.
- Ability to maintain an appropriate courtroom demeanor, communicate, listen and differentiate facts from opinions and to deliver effective testimony.
- Ability to make acute observations, attention to detail and to identify relationships between bits of information, in order to identify code violations or to support a decision.
- Ability to make sound decisions based on all available information.
- Ability to make mathematical calculations, use measuring tools, make field sketches, and write field reports as related to site visits and inspections.
- Ability to read plans for fire protection systems, fire detection systems, and building construction or ability to quickly learn.
- Knowledge of the practices and techniques of code compliance inspections and fire prevention and practices, or ability to learn.
- Knowledge of basic fire behavior, flame spread and smoke development ratings of contents, interior finishes, building construction elements, decorations, decorative materials, and furnishings, and safe housekeeping practices.
- Knowledge of the various codes related to Fire Inspection including National Fire Protection Codes, Fire and Life Safety Code, Building Codes, the principles and practices associated with each, administrative procedures, and related standards adopted by the jurisdiction. Knowledge of and understanding of the interrelationship between these codes, regulations, and standards, or ability to quickly learn.
- Knowledge of plan review policies and the jurisdiction, codes and standards, legal and administrative requirements related to the qualifications of individuals who develop plans and specifications, and state and local ordinances regarding licensing, or ability to quickly learn.
- Knowledge of standard policies and procedures regarding the communication of code violations and the appeals process or ability to quickly learn.
- Ability to read basic floor plans or shop drawings and identify symbols, or ability to quickly learn.
- Knowledge of operating requirements for fire department apparatus.
- Knowledge of City planning and zoning requirements, or ability to quickly learn.
- Knowledge of emergency access and accessibility requirements.
- Knowledge of hazard identification and correction.
- Knowledge of basic fire protection systems and devices.
- Knowledge of emergency reporting.
- Knowledge of fire fighter personal protective equipment.
- Knowledge of special needs for those with disabilities.
- Knowledge of community organizations and their potential role in fire and life safety education.
- Knowledge of fire and life safety issues and their importance.
- Knowledge of and ability develop and implement Fire & Life Safety lesson plans and presentation methods to meet specific audience needs.
- Knowledge of effective publicity methods, local media resources, and organizational policies and protocol regarding dissemination of information.
- Knowledge of fire ground hazards.
- Knowledge of issues related to fire scene investigation including but not limited to types of evidence, importance of fire scene security, evidence gathering and preservation, spoliation of the scene, human behavior during a fire, injury causes/prevention, types of building construction and the effects of fire upon construction materials, the effects of fire suppression, fire behavior and spread, and burn patterns, or ability to quickly learn.
- Ability to interpret variations of burn patterns on different materials with consideration given to heat release rate, form, and ignitability and ability to distinguish impact of different types of fuel loads. Ability to evaluate fuel trails and analyze and synthesize information related to fire investigation, or ability to quickly learn.
- Basic understanding of ignition processes, characteristics of ignition sources, and 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.
- Ability to determine the interrelationships of various mechanical system (e.g. HVAC, sprinklers, other mechanical systems) operating within a building and their effect on the fire, identify alterations to 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. Ability to distinguish between low- and high-order explosion effects and analyze damage to document the blast zone and origin, or ability to quickly learn.
- Ability to recognize and communicate relationships between notes, diagrams, and photos; ability to reduce fire scene information into concise notes and sketches and to use those notes during report writing and legal proceedings.
- Knowledge of or ability to quickly learn about the rules of evidence custody and transfer procedures, types of evidence (e.g., physical evidence obtained at the scene, photos, and documents), and methods of recording the chain of custody.
- Willingness and ability to demonstrate commitment to the job, team and organization.
- Ability to help create a positive work environment which encourages individual and team growth and development.
- Physical ability to walk, talk, hear, and to grasp, finger, touch, feel materials and objects relevant to the work. Visual ability sufficient to identify burn patterns and variation in color. Ability to work effectively in physically and psychologically demanding and stressful situations. Demands include but are not limited to bending, lifting, climbing, standing, stooping, walking, and ability to distinguish between shades of color. Environment includes exposure to extreme heat, cold, smoke, fumes, and hazardous situations and materials which require use of protective equipment on a consistent basis while at the scene.
Minimum Requirements (Education, Experience, Training, Certifications/Licenses)
High School diploma or equivalent supplemented by thorough knowledge of fire safety codes, building codes, and inspection techniques. Three years of experience performing work related to Fire Inspections and/or Investigation and two years of Fire Department instructing experience. An equivalent combination of training, education, and experience which would likely provide the knowledge, skills, and ability to do the job may be considered. Requires Basic Firefighter Level I certification. Possession of the following certifications or ability to obtain within 12 months of hire based upon class availability: Fire Safety Educator, Fire Inspector I, NPQ Fire Instructor I, Structural Fire Control Instructor. Demonstrated desire and ability to assist in leading, directing, and guiding the prevention and safety work of the Brunswick Fire Department. Safe Driving record and valid driver’s license. Ability to meet the Brunswick Fire Department physical fitness standards. Pre-employment drug screening, physical examination, MVR, and Criminal History background check.
Preferred: College coursework in Fire Science; certification as a Fire & Life Safety Educator, NPQ Fire Instructor II, and NPQ Fire Officer II. Successful completion and understanding of Life Safety 101, P.O.S.T Arson certification, Georgia EMS Level 1 Instructor, American Heart Association BLS CPR Instructor.
City of Brunswick is an Equal Opportunity Employer - A Drug Free and Tobacco Free Workplace