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Office Of The Indiana State Fire Marshal Celebrates 100 Years

Last updated on Friday, August 9, 2013

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Office of the Indiana State Fire Marshal is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this month.

And while the office has changed quite a bit in terms of scope and charter, it has provided Hoosiers safety and consistency in code enforcement since its inception.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal was established by the state legislature when it approved Indiana Code (IC) 22-11-5 in 1913 to be the state's first agency chartered to help ensure public safety. At the beginning, the office was simply the focal point for Indiana's volunteer fire departments. Today, the office conducts thousands of inspections including those of public buildings, schools, day care centers, boiler and pressure vessels, elevators, amusement rides and more.

"Our office has come a long way from its initial creation," said State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. "Over the 100 years, Indiana has had 20 state fire marshals and I am honored to be in this role currently as we celebrate a proud 100 years."

One of those former state fire marshals is Tracy Boatwright, who headed the office from 1993-2004. Boatwright says he saw and implemented a lot of changes during that time.

"When I first came to that office, we didn't have many computers and so much of what we did was on paper. One of the things I am proud of is that I tried to get the office upgraded so people had all the necessary equipment to do their jobs well," Boatwright said.

Boatwright says he is proud of the fact he held the office of state fire marshal for 11 years, which makes him one of the longest-running state fire marshals.

Coincidentally, Indianapolis is the host city and State Fire Marshal Greeson the host for the National Association of State Fire Marshals Annual Conference, taking place this week. State fire marshals from more than 35 states are attending the event, making this year's conference one of the highest attended in years.

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