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Iowa Department of Public Safety
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Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release:  
February 20, 2018


Iowa's First State Fire Marshal to be Honored

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa State Fire Marshal Division will honor the service of Iowa’s first State Fire Marshal by naming its primary training room in the Department of Public Safety’s headquarters in honor of Ole O. Roe.  

The dedication event will be held at 10:00 a.m. on February 22, 2018, in the Oran Pape State Office Building.   

State Fire Marshal Ole Roe’s, David Roe and numerous other family members will be present for the dedication.

At the event, State Fire Marshal Dan Wood also will recognize a bequest to the Fire Service Training Bureau from Walter Johnson, an Iowa native from Hopkinton, Iowa, who served for many years as a Deputy Commissioner in the Iowa Division of Labor.   Mr. Johnson’s bequest will be used to purchase equipment to benefit the fire service in Iowa.  Mr. Johnson’s good friend and former co-worker Mary Bryant will be present for the presentation.

The State Fire Marshal’s office also will have some mobile training props being used live this Saturday at the Van Wall Building at the Central Iowa Expo.  This is part of the Fire Service Training Bureau, a bureau of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, 94th Annual Fire School. 

Background information:

Ole O. Roe was named the first State Fire Marshal in Iowa in 1911.   He served until 1919, under Governors Beryl F. Carroll and George W. Clarke.   Marshal Roe’s emphasis was on fire incident reporting, and he established the first fire reporting system in Iowa.  The legislation that created the State Fire Marshal’s office also authorized building inspections and required that every teacher in every school conduct a fire drill once a month.

The State Fire Marshal’s office was the first division of the current Department of Public Safety.  The Division of Criminal Investigation was created in 1921, the Iowa State Patrol was created in 1935, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement was created in 1970, and the Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center was established in 2008.

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