Building & Life Safety Division

The Building and Life Safety Division serves five major functions: 
The Building and Life Safety Division is under the supervision of the Assistant Fire Chief with three Deputy Fire Marshals and one Fire Inspector/Plans Examiner. Personnel from this division also serve as incident safety officers at the scene of major incidents. In addition to their firefighting and medical certifications, personnel in this division also maintain various certifications such as licensed peace officers, certified arson investigators, certified fire prevention inspectors, and they are also certified to instruct both firefighting and emergency medical subjects.


Helps to identify fire hazards and code violations and ensure they are corrected to minimize fires. All businesses and public buildings in Texarkana are inspected at least annually by the personnel of this division or by Operations Division personnel through an in-service inspection program supervised by this division. The personnel of this division also conduct fire suppression system tests, fire alarm system tests, and building construction plan reviews.

Investigations are conducted to determine the cause and origin of all fires. If arson is suspected, the investigation is aggressive and is followed through to prosecution if possible.

Public Education

Provides programs to schools, businesses, civic organizations and citizens to inform them of the dangers of fire and the steps that can be taken to minimize the risk.


Responsible for directing training activities for the entire department. This includes training necessary to maintain readiness as well as training required to meet statutory and insurance rating agency requirements. The Texas Commission on Fire Protection requires a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education per employee per year. The Texas Department of State Health Services requires at least 20 hours of medical continuing education per year for all personnel certified as Emergency Medical Technicians-EMT. Paramedic licensee or certification requires additional continuing education. In addition, the Insurance Services Office-ISO, while not a regulating agency, requires 289 hours of training per person on an annual basis to maintain the highest possible insurance rating. The city of Texarkana Texas Fire Dept. is currently rated as an ISO Class 2 department.