The Economic Development Pulse Second Quarter 2016 - Page 4



For most people, Friday translates to a weekend of fun and rest, but for seven fire inspectors with the Odessa Fire and Rescue Fire Marshal’s office, every Friday at 8 a.m. starts a seven day work week of on-call duty. Part detective, scientist, engineer and law enforcer, the fire inspector represents a combination of multiple skill sets.

All members of the Fire Marshal’s Office are state certified fire inspectors, plan examiners, fire investigators and certified peace officers. The fire inspectors are responsible for providing fire inspections, investigations, public education and crime scene examinations within the City of Odessa. From October 2014 to September 2015, over 1,583 inspections were conducted on commercial buildings and 966 on multi-family dwellings.

Al Mata, Odessa Fire and Rescue’s Fire Marshal, started working as a surveyor for the City of Odessa Engineering Department in 1977 after being employed in the construction industry. Before taking the Fire Marshal position in 2013, Mata was employed by multiple city departments including code enforcement and planning and zoning before becoming a fire inspector in 1994 and Assistant Fire Marshal in 2002. Under Mata’s leadership, the Fire Marshal’s office has shifted focus towards providing education and customer service rather than concentrating solely on code enforcement. “Ensuring life safety conditions within an occupancy or structure is the ultimate goal while maintaining a positive relationship within the community,” said Mata.

The fire inspectors are all assigned one district within the city. Annual fire inspections are performed to assess and mitigate potential fire and life safety hazards in buildings to ensure compliance with the International Fire Code. Inspections benefit the building, business assets and business owners, as well as those who use the building by offering a safer working and living environment for employees, visitors and residents.

Envisioning the Future of Odessa, One Park at a Time

A Q & A with Steve Patton, Parks and Recreation Director

Odessa Fire and Rescue

Interview with Al Mata

Fire Department Marshal