Municipal Hearing Officer Program

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 148A allows municipalities to designate a qualified hearing officer to preside at hearings of individuals who have received a fire violation ticket written by either the fire or building departments and protest said ticket.  The catch 22 in chapter 148A is that municipalities cannot receive ticket books until they have designated a qualified hearing officer.

The Essex County Fire Chief’s Association (ECFCA) helps communities enroll in the ticket program and then provides qualified hearings officer free of charge to communities whose Fire Chief is an active member of the “Association”. This benefit is open to non-Essex County Fire Department who join as Sterling members (see Membership section).

Eligible communities must apply in writing to join this program. A sample request letter is attached. Also find the Hearing Officer Brochure here.