HB 2870

84(R) - 2015
House Urban Affairs
House Urban Affairs

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Roberto Alonzo

Bill Caption

Relating to the regulation of firefighters and fire departments by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication anticipated.

Local Government

The bill would have a cost to some local governments to hire permanent, full-time fire department civil service employees for duties that could previously be performed by other staff; however, cost could not be determined at this time.

Bill Analysis

HB 2870 would amend code to prohibit a municipal employee from performing a duty classified as a wildland firefighting duty, including conducting a prescribed burn, unless that person is a permanent, full-time fire department civil service employee. This is regardless of whether the person holds a certificate from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. 

The bill provides an exception if the municipal employee is also a volunteer firefighter and is not acting in his official capacity as a municipal employee at the time he participates in the controlled burn.

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill abridges the principle of limited government. If an individual holds a certificate from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, that person is qualified to conduct a wild land firefighting duty or a prescribed burn regardless of whether they are serving as a full time or volunteer fire fighter. The certificate alone demonstrates that qualification.

If a municipality has someone on staff who holds a certificate from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, the municipality should not be prohibited by state regulation from employing that individual to perform a duty they are clearly qualified for. For this reason, we oppose HB 2870.