(a) The State Fire Commission shall appoint a State Fire Marshal. The State Fire Marshal serves at the will and pleasure of the commission and is exempt from coverage under the classified civil service system.
(b) The State Fire Marshal shall have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university, or equivalent experience as determined by the commission, and six years of full- time or part-time equivalent paid or volunteer experience in fire prevention or fire safety including two years in a supervisory capacity in fire prevention and fire safety.
(c) The State Fire Marshal, within policy established by the State Fire Commission, shall have all responsibility for the implementation of fire safety programs in this state designated to minimize fire hazards and disaster and loss of life and property from these causes. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the establishment and enforcement of fire safety practices throughout the state, preventive inspection and correction activities, coordination of fire safety programs with volunteer and paid fire departments and critical analysis and evaluation of West Virginia's fire loss statistics for determination of problems and solutions.
(d) The State Fire Marshal may employ such technical, clerical, stenographic and other personnel and fix their compensation and may incur such expenses as may be necessary in the performance of the duties of his or her office within the appropriation therefor. Employees of the Fire Marshal's office shall be members of the state civil service system and all appointments of the office shall be a part of the classified service under the civil service system.
Further, any individual who is employed to conduct criminal investigations or who may become actively involved in matters of a criminal nature shall first be required to pass a civil service examination testing his or her competency and proficiency in the law of arrest, search and seizure and other criminal procedures relating to the powers granted to the State Fire Marshal pursuant to the provisions of this article.
(e) The State Fire Marshal and other personnel of the State Fire Marshal's office shall be provided with appropriate office space, furniture, equipment, supplies, stationery and printing in the same manner as provided for other state agencies.