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Division of Emergency Preparedness & Coordination

Contact Information

Mat Chibbaro, P.E.
Fire Marshal
Paul Richards, P.E.
Deputy Fire Marshal

Division of the Fire Marshal
Office of Research Services
National Institutes of Health
Building 15G-2
Phone: (301) 496-0487
TTY: (301) 435-1908

Hydrant Test Crew

(Photo above) DFM has maintained all on-site services through the pandemic. Shown is the DFM crew about to depart for the Poolesville campus for building inspections and fire hydrant testing (L-R Senior Fire Protection Engineer Ike Yoo, P.E., Assistant Fire Marshal Steve Davis, CFPI-III, CFEI, CVFI, Deputy Fire Marshal Paul Richards, P.E., Senior Fire Protection Engineer & Program Manager Zenia Velazquez, P.E., and Senior Fire Protection Calvin Kane, P.E.).

ORS breadcrumbDFM

Division of the Fire Marshal (DFM)

Our Mission

The DFM has a dual mission:
    1. To ensure the life safety of NIH staff, patients, and visitors
    2. To protect research efforts in support of the NIH mission

Our Services

DFM’s mission is accomplished by the proactive delivery of consistent, timely, collaborative, and professional services for NIH-owned* facilities:


    1. Construction and renovation plan review
    2. Construction inspections (progress, close-in, and final)
    3. Fire protection system shop drawing review
    4. Fire protection systems acceptance testing
    5. Fire hydrant testing and water supply analysis
    6. Review of requests for site selection, road closures, temporary tents, and fire protection systems outages
    7. Interim Life Safety Measure (ILSM) assessments
    8. Evaluation of equivalencies and variances


    1. Existing building periodic inspections
    2. Investigating fire hazard complaints in existing buildings
    3. Permits for hot work and temporary cooking
    4. Advance and event inspection of food trucks
    5. Crowd control monitoring
    6. Tent Inspections
    7. ILSM Inspections


    1. Staff training
    2. Public education displays
    3. Articles and public service announcements
    4. Consultation on fire and life safety matters
    5. Policy development
    6. Investigation of fire and explosion incidents

***Note for leased facilities: These are not under DFM’S authority. DFM plays a consultative role only in leased facilities. Please contact the following fire code authorities with any code enforcement concerns in jurisdictions with leased facilities:

  1. Montgomery County MD 
  2. Rockville City MD 
  3. Baltimore City MD 
  4. Durham County NC 


DFM leadership consists of the Fire Marshal and Deputy Fire Marshal. Staff is organized into two teams:

    1. Engineering Team, which primarily handles fire and life safety aspects of construction and renovation of NIH-owned facilities. This team can be reached on the “Fire Marshal” global email address in the NIH internal outlook system. The Deputy Fire Marshal supervises this team.
    2. Inspection Team, which primarily handles fire and life safety aspects of NIH-owned existing structures and their operation. This team can be reached on the “Fire Prevention” global email address in the NIH internal outlook system. The Fire Marshal supervises this team.

Both teams are supported by an Administrative Assistant, who will likely be your initial contact when calling the general office number.


The overall Bethesda campus map is here: Although our address is 5202 West Cedar Lane, we are in Building 15G-2 on Zelkova Lane accessible from within the campus security perimeter; shown as the red pin on the following map of the north side of campus in relation to the Clinical Center, the Children’s Inn, Building 31, and the Visitor Parking Lot.