Message from State Fire Marshal Stephen Jones

INDIANA – It is the time to be thankful. As your Indiana State Fire Marshal, I have to be very thankful for this time of year.

State Fire Marshal Stephen Jones

First, I want to acknowledge how kind and supportive my colleagues at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security have been when I transitioned into this role. I’ve been responsible for the safety and training of many men and women at the local fire department level, but it’s a completely different scenario when your job impacts the day-to-day life of every firefighter across the state. I feel this responsibility and accept it. We are on the front lines together, supporting all public safety personnel across the state. When they’re effective in saving lives and walking home at the end of the shift, I know we’ve all played a part in supporting those operations. It’s a great calling and I’m grateful for such a wonderful team.

I am also grateful for the priority given to the health of firefighters in this state. We recently added eight names to the Indiana Law Enforcement and Firefighters Memorial, and several of those deaths were due to the health hazards of the job. The PFAS Class B Foam Collection Initiative has collected more than 26,000 gallons of cancer-causing foam to date, keeping these toxic chemicals away from firefighters and Indiana’s groundwater. The program offers a completely free and safe disposal process through a partnership between IDHS and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).

Watch the video in this message to see how simple and effective this program has become and has set a standard for others across the country.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the PFAS program. Please log in if you have not already done so. Much more needs to be done to reduce firefighter health risks.

Firefighter training has received tremendous support from all levels of government, including Governor Holcomb. This state knows the importance of having highly qualified, competently trained men and women to respond to these emergency calls. Positive results follow good preparation and training, and that goes for firefighters and the public they serve. The Fire Chief Executive Training Program continues to receive positive feedback as it helps lay an important foundation for new chiefs across the state. I am grateful for this continued momentum in Indiana firefighter training.

Ultimately, I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve and support firefighters who—along with police and emergency responders—form the backbone of the emergency network. You and your families deserve gratitude from all Hoosiers for the sacrifices they make every day for this job. I encourage you all to prioritize your health and safety as you do for others. We depend on you to have your regular health checks done and to ask for help when you need it. IDHS will always have your back.

sincerely,

Fire Marshal Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones
Indiana State Fire Marshal

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