Helena Magazine

City Hall Faces: Keith Martin

Published 8:10 am Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Fire Marshal Keith Martin talks about his role at the Helena Fire Department and shares his number one fire safety tip


Keith Martin, the new fire marshal of the city of Helena, grew up in Tarrant City, Alabama. where the local firefighters would visit the school for yearly safety talks. Inspired by these workers, Martin began to volunteer with Tarrant Fire. Here, Martin saw his future wife, Christi, through the fire department’s front windows which faced the bank’s drive-thru where Christi was a teller.

She stole my heart, and we recently celebrated 32 years of marriage!” Keith said.

The couple has lived in a few different cities across the state in Alabama, including Helena, and Martin expressed how happy he is to be back.

Helena holds a special place in our hearts,” Martin said. “I forgot how wonderful our winding roads and hills are, especially the view from South Shades.”

As fire marshal, Martin’s duties vary every day he comes into work. Some days, he must constantly assess situations to assure that the proper codes and standards are being followed. Some days, he responds to emergency calls and acts as a fire investigator. In addition, Martin is a certified planning and zoning official for the city of Helena.

“Making a positive impact is at the core of everything I do professionally and within our community,” Martin said. “Whether through innovative programs like the Fire Explorers, the Public Safety Academy or simply being present and engaged with community members, my goal is always to uplift and empower.”

When asked to share his number one fire safety tip, Marin said to test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every week and change the batteries twice a year.

“If you do not have smoke alarms, or they are over 10 years old, replace them,” Martin said. “You need a minimum of one alarm on each floor. The current code requires them on each level, in each sleeping area, and just outside the sleeping area. These small steps truly save lives. Contact your Fire Department for assistance with smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors. 205-663-5809.”