From local fire departments to statewide government agencies, there are hundreds of fire service organizations in the State of Texas. Each of these organizations has its own mission and specialties, but all are united in the goal of protecting the citizens of Texas from the dangers of fire and related hazards. This page provides an overview of several statewide fire service organizations.
The mission of the Texas Commission on Fire Protection is to aid in the protection of lives and property of Texas citizens through the development and enforcement of recognized professional standards for individuals and the fire service. The commission was established by the 61st Legislature in 1969. Services provided by the commission include certification and regulation of paid fire departments, personnel and training facilities; administering the Texas fire fighter injury reporting system; and maintaining a fire protection resource library. The commission's authority is defined by the Texas Government Code, Chapter 419.
The mission of the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office is to reduce the loss of life and property through prevention, education, and protection. The SFMO was established by the 31st Legislature in 1910. Since 1997 the SFMO has been part of the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). Services offered by the SFMO include, but are not limited to: fire investigations; fire safety inspections; licensing and regulation of the fire alarm, extinguisher, sprinkler, and fireworks industries; oversight of fire standard compliant cigarettes; fire prevention education; fire fighter fatality investigations; and administering the Texas Fire Incident Reporting System (TEXFIRS). The SFMO's authority is defined by the Texas Government Code, Texas Government Code, Chapter 417.
The Texas A&M Forest Service was created in 1915 by the 34th Legislature as part of the Texas A&M University System. TFS is mandated to "assume direction of all forest interests and all matters pertaining to forestry within the jurisdiction of the state," and to serve as the lead fire service organization for the state during emergency operations. Services offered by the TFS include, but are not limited to, the Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (TxWRAP); the State of Texas Fire Department Directory (FDD); and volunteer and career fire department assistance programs.
The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service's Emergency Training Institute (TEEX-ESTI) has provided fire training for emergency responders since 1929, when the State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas selected Texas A&M University as the site for a permanent fire fighter training school. TEEX offers emergency response training and instruction in more than 130 specialty areas. TEEX annually trains more than 81,000 emergency responders from all 50 states and from 45 foreign countries each year.
The Texas Emergency Services Retirement System administers a pension system for volunteer fire and emergency services departments in communities statewide. The agency was established as a standalone agency in 2013 (it previously existed as a pension fund under the Office of the Fire Fighters' Pension Commissioner, which was abolished in 2013).
The Texas Division of Emergency Management coordinates the state emergency management program, which is intended to ensure the state and its local governments respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters, and implement plans and programs to help prevent or lessen the impact of emergencies and disasters. TDEM also implements programs to increase public awareness about threats and hazards, coordinates emergency planning, provides an extensive array of specialized training for emergency responders and local officials, and administers disaster recovery and hazard mitigation programs in the state.
The Texas Department of Agriculture provides informational resources regarding the establishment and maintenance of emergency service districts (ESDs). ESDs are required to report annually to TDA.
The Texas Department of State Health Services' EMS and Trauma Systems program regulates emergency medical services and trauma systems in Texas.
The Texas Fire Chiefs Association was established in 1988. The TFCA provides professional fire and life safety leadership for the citizens of Texas by serving as one voice for over 1,100 chief fire officers in various cities, towns and communities. The TFCA protects and serves the public trust at all times through integrity and professional leadership. The TFCA is an organization affiliated with the Texas Municipal League (TML).
The State Association of Fire Fighters was established in 1938 and is Texas' only profesional, career fire fighters organization, representing over 15,000 fire fighter members and 172 affiliate locals. The TSAFF is affiliated with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).
The State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas is one of the largest trade associations in Texas. It is also the primary advocate for the volunteer fire service in Texas. The 138-year-old organization is the oldest and largest fire and EMS service association in the state. Membership includes 1,200 fire, EMS and international departments, more than 22,000 individual members, and 80 industrial fire brigades.
The mission of the Texas State Association of Fire and Emergency Districts is to make Texans safer by supporting the men and women of emergency service districts (ESDs) in the state. ESDs are political subdivisions of the state. Since 1990, SAFE-D has been the only association dedicated to bringing these local government entities together so they can work smarter and better together.
The Texas Fire Marshals' Association encourages high professional standards of conduct among fire marshals and to strive to eliminate all factors which interfere with administration of fire prevention.
The primary purpose of the Texas Association of Fire Educators is to promote education in the state for both the fire service and the public, and to provide resources and tools for ongoing training in the fire service industry.
The Texas fire service consortium was founded in 2001. The consortium is a group of ten Texas fire service organizations, including state agencies and independent associations, working on common issues to find common solutions. These issues and solutions can involve state legislation, fire service training, and fire fighter safety, health and wellness. Member organizations include: