Texas state legislature House Bill 1450 was recently filed to add LODD investigations to the duties of the State Fire Marshal. The Fire Marshal would have the authority to assemble a group of investigative agencies such as fire service associations, testing labs, CISD teams etc. to assist the department and conduct an independent review of any LODD occurring in the state. The Fire Marshal would also coordinate investigative efforts of all local, state, and other investigative groups involved. Serious injury cases would be investigated at the direction of the State Board of Insurance. Multiple fire service organizations were on board backing the bill and it was expected to pass without any problems.

Now a group of Dallas metro area chiefs is objecting to the bill because they don't want an "outside" agency interfering in their LODD investigations. Given the rapid pace of legislative action (the legislature meets for a few months out of a two year period) any bill facing any substantial opposition will usually be tabled and never reach a floor vote.

Why would any Chief be afraid of an independent investigation? Won’t he have his hands full dealing with the families of fallen firefighters and the concerns of the surviving firefighters?

The bill may be viewed at the following web address: