§ 35.02  FIRE CHIEF; FIRE PREVENTION OFFICER; EMPLOYMENT OF FIREFIGHTERS; CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECK FOR FIREFIGHTERS.
   (A)   Each municipality establishing a fire department shall have a Fire Chief as the Department’s head, appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Legislative Authority, who shall continue in office until removed from office as provided by R.C. §§ 733.35 through 733.39. Neither this section nor any section of the Ohio Revised Code requires, or shall be construed to require, that the Fire Chief be a resident of the municipality.
   (B)   In each municipality not having a fire department, the Mayor shall, with the advice and consent of the Legislative Authority, appoint a Fire Prevention Officer who shall exercise all of the duties of a Fire Chief, except those involving the maintenance and operation of fire apparatus.
   (C)   The Legislative Authority may fix the compensation it considers best. The appointee shall continue in office until removed from office as provided by R.C. §§ 733.35 through 733.39. The provisions of § 35.03 shall extend to the Fire Prevention Officer.
   (D)   The Legislative Authority may provide for the appointment of permanent full-time paid firefighters as it considers best and fix their compensation, or for the services of volunteer firefighters, who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Legislative Authority, and shall continue in office until removed from office.
   (E)   No person shall be appointed as a permanent full-time paid firefighter of the municipality unless either of the following applies:
      (1)   The person has received a certificate issued under former R.C. § 3303.07 or R.C. § 4765.55 evidencing satisfactory completion of a firefighter training program;
      (2)   The person began serving as a permanent full-time paid firefighter with the municipality prior to July 2, 1970, and receives a fire training certificate issued under R.C. § 4765.55.
   (F)   No person who is appointed as a volunteer firefighter of the municipality shall remain in that position unless either of the following applies:
      (1)   Within one year of the appointment, the person has received a certificate issued under former R.C. § 3303.07 or R.C. § 4765.55 evidencing satisfactory completion of a firefighter training program;
      (2)   The person has served as a permanent full- time paid firefighter with the municipality prior to July 2, 1970, or as a volunteer firefighter with the municipality prior to July 2, 1979, and receives a certificate issued under R.C. § 4765.55(C)(3).
   (G)   No person shall receive an appointment under this section unless the person has, not more than 60 days prior to receiving the appointment, passed a physical examination given by a licensed physician, a physician assistant, a clinical nurse specialist, a certified nurse practitioner, or a certified nurse-midwife, showing that the person meets the physical requirements necessary to perform the duties of the position to which the person is to be appointed as established by the Legislative Authority. The appointing authority shall, prior to making an appointment, file with the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund or the Local Volunteer Firefighter’s Dependents Fund Board a copy of the report or findings of that licensed physician, physician assistant, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse practitioner, or certified nurse- midwife. The professional fee for the physical examination shall be paid for by the Legislative Authority.
(R.C. § 737.22) (Rev. 2008)
   (H)   Criminal records check for firefighters.
      (1)   The Fire Chief may request the Superintendent of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (“BCII”) to conduct a criminal records check with respect to any person who is under consideration for appointment or employment as a permanent, full-time paid firefighter or any person who is under consideration for appointment as a volunteer firefighter.
      (2)   (a)   The Fire Chief may request that the Superintendent of BCII obtain information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a part of the criminal records check requested pursuant to division (H)(1) of this section.
         (b)   The Fire Chief, authorized by division (H)(1) of this section to request a criminal records check, shall provide to each person for whom the Fire Chief intends to request a criminal records check a copy of the form prescribed pursuant to R.C. § 109.578(C)(1) and a standard impression sheet to obtain fingerprint impressions prescribed pursuant to R.C. § 109.578(C)(2), obtain the completed form and impression sheet from the person, and forward the completed form and impression sheet to the Superintendent of BCII at the time the criminal records check is requested.
         (c)   Any person subject to a criminal records check who receives a copy of the form and a copy of the impression sheet pursuant to division (H)(2)(b) of this section and who is requested to complete the form and provide a set of fingerprint impressions shall complete the form or provide all the information necessary to complete the form and shall provide the impression sheet with the impressions of the person’s fingerprints. If a person fails to provide the information necessary to complete the form or fails to provide impressions of the person’s fingerprints, the appointing authority shall not appoint or employ the person as a permanent full-time paid firefighter or a volunteer firefighter.
      (3)   (a)   Except as otherwise provided in division (H)(3)(b) of this section, an appointing authority shall not appoint or employ a person as a permanent, full-time paid firefighter or a volunteer firefighter if the Fire Chief has requested a criminal records check pursuant to division (H)(1) of this section and the criminal records check indicates that the person previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any of the following:
            1.   A felony;
            2.   A violation of R.C. § 2909.03;
            3.   A violation of an existing or former law of this state, any other state, or the United States that is substantially equivalent to any of the offenses described in division (H)(3)(a)1. or (H)(3)(a)2. of this section.
         (b)   Notwithstanding division (H)(3)(a) of this section, an appointing authority may appoint or employ a person as a permanent, full-time paid firefighter or a volunteer firefighter if all of the following apply:
            1.   The Fire Chief has requested a criminal records check pursuant to division (H)(1) of this section.
            2.   The criminal records check indicates that the person previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any of the offenses described in division (H)(3)(a) of this section.
            3.   The person meets rehabilitation standards established in rules adopted under division (H)(5) of this section.
         (c)   If the Fire Chief requests a criminal records check pursuant to division (H)(1) of this section, an appointing authority may appoint or employ a person as a permanent, full-time paid firefighter or volunteer firefighter conditionally until the criminal records check is completed and the Fire Chief receives the results. If the results of the criminal records check indicate that, pursuant to division (H)(3)(a) of this section, the person subject to the criminal records check is disqualified from appointment or employment, the Fire Chief shall release the person from appointment or employment.
      (4)   The Fire Chief shall pay to the BCII the fee prescribed pursuant to R.C. § 109.578(C)(3) for each criminal records check conducted in accordance with that section. The Fire Chief may charge the applicant who is subject to the criminal records check a fee for the costs the Fire Chief incurs in obtaining the criminal records check. A fee charged under this division shall not exceed the amount of fees the Fire Chief pays for the criminal records check. If a fee is charged under this division, the Fire Chief shall notify the applicant at the time of the applicant’s initial application for appointment or employment of the amount of the fee and that, unless the fee is paid, the applicant will not be considered for appointment or employment.
      (5)   The appointing authority shall adopt rules in accordance with R.C. Chapter 119 to implement this division (H). The rules shall include rehabilitation standards a person who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense listed in division (H)(3)(a) of this section must meet for the appointing authority to appoint or employ the person as a permanent, full-time paid firefighter or a volunteer firefighter.
      (6)   The Fire Chief requesting a criminal records check for an applicant shall inform each applicant, at the time of the person’s initial application for appointment or employment, that the applicant is required to provide a set of impressions of the person’s fingerprints and that the Fire Chief requires a criminal records check to be conducted and satisfactorily completed in accordance with R.C. § 109.578.
      (7)   As used in this section:
         APPOINTING AUTHORITY. Means any person or body that has the authority to hire, appoint, or employ permanent, full-time paid firefighters and volunteer firefighters under R.C. § 737.22.
         CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECK. Has the same meaning as in R.C. § 109.578.
         SUPERINTENDENT OF BCII. Has the same meaning as in R.C. § 2151.86.
(R.C. § 737.221) (Rev. 2003)