TO: Department Directors and Autonomous Agency Heads
FROM: Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
DATE: November 8, 2005
SUBJECT: Recognizing the Important Role of Michigan's Fire Service in State Homeland Security and Emergency Management Efforts
Michigan's firefighters, fire chiefs, and other members of the fire service in this state play a vital role in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the People of the State of Michigan. Because state government has a continuing obligation to reassure Michigan residents that state government is taking appropriate steps to address their safety and security, it is appropriate that the role of Michigan's fire service in the state's emergency management and homeland security efforts be reassessed and reevaluated. Furthermore, it is critical that the Governor be continuously apprised of homeland security and emergency management issues to assure that the chief executive of this state is provided with the most accurate and prompt information available to ensure that all relevant factors are appropriately weighed in the development and implementation of effective and coordinated homeland security and emergency response measures.
The Emergency Management Act, 1976 PA 390, MCL 30.401 to 30.421, governs emergency management in this state, prescribing the powers and duties of certain officials, establishing an organizational framework for emergency management, and encompassing homeland security efforts relating to terrorist threats. While the Emergency Management Act establishes the Emergency Management Division of the Department of State Police as coordinator of the state's comprehensive emergency management activities for all emergencies and disasters, a key component in that cooperative effort involving multiple state departments and agencies is Michigan's fire service.
Consistent with the Emergency Management Act, and to further enhance the homeland security and emergency response efforts of this state, I direct the following:
1. Not later than November 30, 2005, the Department of Labor and Economic Growth shall report to the Governor on any internal reorganization plans, executive reorganization orders, amendments to Michigan law, or any other changes necessary to accomplish all of the following:
a. Establish within the Department of Labor and Economic Growth a Bureau of Fire Services to serve as a focal point within state government for fire service issues and functions. The Bureau of Fire Services shall at minimum include the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Fire Fighters Training Council, the State Fire Safety Board, and activities related to fire inspectors and fire investigation training.
b. Designate the State Fire Marshal as the head of the Bureau of Fire Services with the authority necessary to properly oversee and direct fire service programs and commensurate with that of other bureau heads within the Department of Labor and Economic Growth.
c. Assure that the powers and duties of the State Fire Marshal under the Fire Prevention Code, 1941 PA 207, MCL 29.1 to 29.34, and other laws, are utilized to maximize effective administration of the state fire service.
d. Clarify that the State Fire Marshal, in conjunction with the State Fire Safety Board and the Fire Fighters Training Council, has the authority to develop rules for delegation of authority to local fire service personnel and to establish training requirements for fire service personnel.
e. Improve communications with the Fire Fighters Training Council and develop mechanisms to institutionalize consultation among the State Fire Marshal, the Bureau of Fire Services, and the Fire Fighters Training Council.
f. Assure that the State Fire Marshal or his or her designee serves as a member of the Fire Fighters Training Council, State Fire Safety Board, and other appropriate boards, commissions, or advisory bodies.
g. Reestablish a credential registration program for fire service personnel.
h. Reestablish, in consultation with the Office of Financial and Insurance Services, the Michigan Uninsured Fire Loss Reporting System and insurance fraud program based upon an active effort to secure grant funding for the program.
i. Adopt measures to enhance the effectiveness of this state's participation in the Child Firesetting and Juvenile Arson Program and the National Fire Incident Reporting System.
j. Determine, in conjunction with the Department of State Police, the feasibility of securing a grant or other funding to support an accelerant detecting canine to provide arson dog services to the Bureau of Fire Services and local fire service agencies.
k. Continue coordination between the Bureau of Fire Services and the successor to the Bureau of Construction Codes and Fire Safety to realize administrative efficiencies when feasible and consistent with the objectives of this Directive.
2. Not later than November 30, 2005, the Department of State Police shall report to the Governor on each of the following:
a. After consultation with the State Fire Marshal and other appropriate state departments and agencies, possible actions to improve the effectiveness of the management of large disasters or emergencies involving the fire service.
b. Recommended actions to assure that the State Fire Marshal or his or her designee serves as a member of the Michigan Homeland Protection Board created by Executive Order 2003-6.
c. After consultation with the State Fire Marshal and other appropriate departments and agencies, recommended actions to improve the effectiveness of cooperation between the State Fire Marshal and the Department of State Police regarding the provision of law enforcement services related to fire investigations.
d. Recommended actions by the Department of State Police, the Department of Labor and Economic Growth, and the State Fire Marshal to assure the availability of the State Fire Marshal or his or her representative when needed at the State Emergency Operations Center
e. Analysis of fire service acceptance of, and participation in, the Michigan Emergency Management Assistance Compact (“MEMAC”) including any suggested amendments to MEMAC.
f. Recommended assistance the Emergency Management Division of the Department of State Police may provide the Bureau of Fire Safety in the development of operational and preparedness plans.
3. Not later than November 30, 2005, state departments and agencies shall review their operations and report, as appropriate, to the Governor on any programs or functions relating to the state fire service not currently administered by the Department of Labor and Economic Growth that could be administered more effectively in a new Bureau of Fire Services.
4. In 2005 PA 156, the act making appropriations for the Department of Labor and Economic Growth for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, the Michigan Legislature indicated its intent to fund State Fire Marshal and Fire Fighters Training Council programs with state general fund/general purpose money, but appropriated no general fund/general purpose revenue for the programs. 2005 PA 156 also appropriated more fee revenue for fire service programs than is projected to be generated during the fiscal year. Accordingly, through November 30, 2005, the Department of Labor and Economic Growth shall solicit recommendations on the provision of funding adequate to support a Bureau of Fire Services.
5. The State Fire Marshal shall continue to serve as an ex officio, voting member of the Michigan Public Safety Communications System Advisory Board and shall continue to participate as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council authorized by Executive Order 2003-6. Advisory groups appointed by the Homeland Security Advisory Council shall continue to include representation of local fire service organizations.
6. The State Fire Marshal shall serve as a policy advisor to the Governor regarding the development and administration of policies, programs, and procedures in consultation with the Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Growth to enhance and effectively manage this state's fire service efforts. As required by the Emergency Management Act, 1976 PA 390, MCL 30.401 to 30.421, the Director of the Department of State Police or his or her designee shall continue to serve as the State Director of Emergency Management and State Director of Homeland Security and shall continue to coordinate the state’s emergency management activities for all emergencies and disasters.
7. The State Fire Marshal shall actively participate in the National Association of State Fire Marshals in an effort learn from best practices in other states and to secure additional resources for fire service programs in this state.
Your assistance in responding the objectives of this Directive is appreciated.
JENNIFER M. GRANHOLM