Borough of Washington, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Washington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES

Department of Public Safety — See Ch. 3, Art. IX.

Claims approval — See Ch. 7.

Salaries and compensation — See Ch. 17.

Fire Prevention Code — See Ch. 42.

Conduct at fires — See Ch. 43.

Fire control measures — See Ch. 44.

ARTICLE I
Volunteer Fire Department (§ 10-1 — § 10-27.1) 

ARTICLE II
Emergency Squad (§ 10-28 — § 10-32) 

[Adopted 1-4-1926]

§ 10-1
Organization. 

§ 10-2
(Reserved) 

§ 10-3
Division of personnel into companies; recording. 

§ 10-4
Resignation. 

§ 10-5
Failure to resign. 

§ 10-6
Application for membership; requirements. 

§ 10-7
Membership certificates. 

§ 10-8
Officers of Department. 

§ 10-9
Chief. 

§ 10-10
Additional duties of Chief. 

§ 10-11
Assistant Chief. 

§ 10-12
(Reserved) 

§ 10-13
(Reserved) 

§ 10-14
Function of Borough Manager. 

§ 10-15
Officers of companies. 

§ 10-16
Disqualification for election to office. 

§ 10-17
Answering alarms. 

§ 10-18
Supervision at fires; suspension for misconduct. 

§ 10-19
Reporting insufficient duty. 

§ 10-20
(Reserved) 

§ 10-21
Exemption certificates. 

§ 10-22
Membership roll. 

§ 10-23
Rules and regulations. 

§ 10-24
Offenses. 

§ 10-25
Preferring charges. 

§ 10-26
Assignment of equipment; expenses. 

§ 10-27
Issuing of general orders. 

§ 10-27.1
Junior members. 

§ 10-1 Organization.

[Amended 5-3-1926; 6-12-1973 by Ord. No. 1373; 10-11-1977 by Ord. No. 12-77]

The Fire Department of the Borough of Washington, New Jersey, shall consist of two companies of volunteer firemen, as incorporated under the laws of the State of New Jersey, not to exceed 30 members in each company and the quota of each company to be kept as near this number as possible, said companies to be designated as follows:

A. 

Washington Fire Department Steamer Company No. 1, a nonprofit corporation of the State of New Jersey.

B. 

Washington Fire Department Truck Company No. 2, a nonprofit corporation of the State of New Jersey.

§ 10-2 (Reserved)

Editor's Note: Former § 10-2, Membership; exemption certificate, was repealed 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87.

§ 10-3 Division of personnel into companies; recording.

[Amended 1-8-1974 by Ord. No. 34-73]

The division of the present Fire Department, as to the personnel of the two companies required by § 10-1 of this article, shall be decided by the Chief of the now existing Fire Department and the Borough Manager. The personnel of the two companies, as so decided, shall be reported in writing to the Borough Council at the first regular meeting of the Council held after the adoption of this article by the Secretary of the present Fire Department, giving the names and addresses of the members of each company, their age and date of their admittance to the Department, which shall be recorded in the minutes of the Borough Council.

§ 10-4 Resignation.

[Amended 1-8-1974 by Ord. No. 34-73; 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

Any member of the Department having reached the limitation as to age or who shall have moved from the Borough or who may otherwise desire to retire from the Department shall retire by presenting his resignation in writing to the Fire Department Company to which he belongs, who shall refer the same to the Borough Council and, upon recommendation of the Borough Manager, shall approve such resignation.

§ 10-5 Failure to resign.

[Amended 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

Any member of the Fire Department failing within 30 days to tender his resignation, as required by the provisions of § 10-4 of this article, shall be dropped from the rolls of the Department and his company, and the Borough Council and Borough Manager shall be so notified by the Chief of the Department.

§ 10-6 Application for membership; requirements.

[Amended 8-8-1947]
A. 

All persons hereafter to become members of the Fire Department shall submit their application in writing to the Secretary of the company in which there is a vacancy and, in order to be eligible for election to membership, shall have the following qualifications:

(1) 

The applicant shall have been a citizen of the United States and:

[Amended 2-12-1974 by Ord. No. 1-74; 6-13-1978 by Ord. No. 11-78; 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87; 3-20-2001 by Ord. No. 3-2001]

(a) 

A resident of the Borough of Washington for at least six months prior to the application for membership;

(b) 

A trained member in good standing of an approved volunteer fire company in any other municipality, in which case he shall qualify for membership immediately regardless of his length of residency in the Borough of Washington; or

(c) 

An active member in good standing of the Washington Emergency Squad who lives in either Washington Borough or Washington Township, in which case the person shall qualify for membership immediately regardless of his length of residency in the Borough of Washington or Township of Washington.

(2) 

He shall be able to read and write the English language intelligently.

(3) 

He shall be not less than 18 years old at the time of his application.

[Amended 6-9-1970 by Ord. No. 9-70; 4-10-1973 by Ord. No. 6-73; 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

(4) 

He shall be of good moral character.

(5) 

He shall be sound in body and in good health, which facts shall be certified to by a practicing physician of the Borough.

(6) 

He shall not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.

(7) 

He shall signify his willingness to abide by the ordinances, rules and regulations governing the Department.

(8) 

Any active or exempt member in good standing of the Borough of Washington Fire Department who relocates or lives in Washington Township, Warren County, New Jersey, may retain his or her active membership.

[Added 3-20-2001 by Ord. No. 3-2001]

B. 

All applicants shall be received and placed on a probationary period of six months' time after the applicants shall have been approved by a majority vote of the company in which the applicant desires membership and shall also be approved by the Borough Manager, and after said probationary period hereinbefore mentioned has been conducted, he shall then be approved by a majority vote of the company in which he desires membership and shall also be approved by the Borough Manager.

[Amended 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

§ 10-7 Membership certificates.

[Amended 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

Membership certificates showing date of appointment will be signed by the Mayor, Borough Clerk, Secretary of the Relief Association, Chief of the Department and the Borough Manager, with the Corporate Seal of the Borough affixed.

§ 10-8 Officers of Department.

[Amended 2-2-1931; 2-19-1934; 7-13-1982 by Ord. No. 17-82; 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

The officers of the Department shall be the Chief, Assistant Chief, two Captains and two Lieutenants, of which one Captain and one Lieutenant shall be selected from each company, who shall be elected annually by the Department and confirmed by the Borough Manager.

§ 10-9 Chief.

[Amended 1-8-1974 by Ord. No. 34-73; 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

The Chief shall be the executive head of the Fire Department; subject, however, to the ruling of the Borough Council or the Borough Manager. He shall:

A. 

Exercise supreme command at all fires and alarms of fires over all members of the Department and all other persons who may aid the Department at fires.

B. 

Have charge of the apparatus and all other property of the Department and assure himself by personal inspection that the several companies are kept at the highest point of efficiency and that the company houses are being properly conducted and kept in good order and that all property of the Department is kept in condition for immediate and efficient service.

C. 

Promptly report to the Borough Manager any repairs which may be necessary from time to time and make such recommendations and suggestions as he may deem proper.

D. 

Cause to be kept an accurate record of all business of the Department, a record of the equipment of the Department, including quantity, kind and condition of the hose of the Department, with such other data as may be necessary to ensure at all times accurate knowledge of its conditions.

E. 

Make an annual report to the Borough Council on or before January 15 of each year of the condition of the Department, apparatus and other property, the number of fires attended the previous year and the men in attendance at each fire, and such other information as deemed appropriate by the Borough Manager and Council.

§ 10-10 Additional duties of Chief.

[Amended 1-8-1974 Ord. No. 34-73; 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

It shall be the duty of the Chief to see that all laws, ordinances, rules, regulations and orders relative to the Department are promptly enforced and obeyed and that all derelictions or transgressions are promptly reported to the Borough Manager. He shall have power and it shall be his duty to temporarily suspend any member of the Department for insubordination or disorderly conduct or for any violation of any law, ordinance, rule, regulation or order, such suspension to continue until the Borough Council shall act thereon. He shall promptly report to the Borough Manager any member who for any reason cannot fully, promptly and properly perform full duty with the Department.

§ 10-11 Assistant Chief.

[Amended 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

The Assistant Chief shall be next in rank to the Chief and, in the absence of the Chief, shall have all the powers and duties prescribed for the Chief. He shall perform such additional duties as the Borough Council from time to time may direct.

§ 10-12 (Reserved)

Editor's Note: Former § 10-12, Chief Apparatus Driver, as amended 2-2-1931, was repealed 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87.

§ 10-13 (Reserved)

Editor's Note: Former § 10-13, Assistant Apparatus Drivers, as amended 2-2-1931, was repealed 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87.

§ 10-14 Function of Borough Manager.

[Amended 1-8-1974 by Ord. No. 34-73; 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

The Borough Manager, with the assistance of the Chief, shall see that all laws, regulations and ordinances relating to fire protection are observed and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the laws of the State of New Jersey or directed by the Borough Council.

§ 10-15 Officers of companies.

[Amended 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

The Borough of Washington recognizes the officers of each company, as provided in the bylaws of each company, to be the President, a Vice President, a Treasurer and a Secretary, who are elected annually by a majority vote of their respective companies present at their December meeting, and the officers so elected must have the confirmation of the Borough Council at its January meeting. They shall hold the office until their successors have been elected and confirmed.

A. 

The President of each company shall have charge of the company and shall at all times preserve order and discipline at all meetings.

B. 

The Vice President of each company shall be second in command of the company and, in the absence of the President, shall perform his duties.

C. 

The Secretary of each company shall perform the usual duties pertaining to that office, keep a fair and impartial record of each company and notify the members of all meetings when ordered by the President.

D. 

The Treasurer shall take charge of all moneys paid him by the Secretary, give a receipt therefor and keep a correct account of the financial condition of the company. The Treasurer shall be prepared to render an account of the financial condition of the company at any regular meeting when called upon to do so, also to pay all bills to be drawn on the accounts of the company and signed by the President and Treasurer.

§ 10-16 Disqualification for election to office.

No person shall be elected an officer of the Fire Department or of any company while under suspension or while charges are pending against him.

§ 10-17 Answering alarms.

[Amended 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

All volunteer firemen shall answer and attend all alarms of fires within the Borough, except where members of companies are ordered by the Chief to answer only on second alarm. Members shall, when practicable, proceed to answer an alarm with their apparatus, but if unable to do so, they shall proceed without delay to the place of alarm and report to the officer in command of their company. Roll shall be called at each company house upon returning from every fire or alarm of fire.

§ 10-18 Supervision at fires; suspension for misconduct.

[Amended 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

All volunteer firemen shall be under the direction of the Chief and Assistant Chief at all fires and alarms of fires. The officer in command at any fire shall have the power to summarily suspend any member of the force for disobedience, misconduct or neglect of duty, such suspension to continue until the Borough Manager shall take action thereon.

§ 10-19 Reporting insufficient duty.

[Amended 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

The Secretary of each company shall account for each member's attendance percentage at all fires and drills for the year in his annual report to the President. The President and officers shall report the name of any member of the company who, in their opinion, has not performed sufficient fire duty. Upon receipt of such report, the Chief shall present the name of the member in default to the Borough Manager for investigation and such action as he may deem proper.

§ 10-20 (Reserved)

Editor's Note: Former § 10-20, Compensation for loss in duty, as amended 9-16-1935; 12-7-1937; 1-18-1943, was repealed 12-10-1974 by Ord. No. 16-74.

§ 10-21 Exemption certificates.

[Amended 1-8-1974 by Ord. No. 34-73; 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

Exemption certificates will be granted to all members of the Volunteer Fire Department who have served as active firemen for the term prescribed by law and have performed sufficient fire duty for the same number of years either successively or in the aggregate according to New Jersey State Firemen's Association Compendium 1980 under General Relief Fund Rates, Article IV, entitled "Membership." The time served shall be certified to by the Chief, as shall also the sufficiency of fire duty performed be so certified, and certificates shall be issued by the Borough Council upon the recommendation of the Chief and the Mayor and attested to by the Borough Clerk, with the Seal of the Borough affixed thereto.

§ 10-22 Membership roll.

The Borough Clerk shall keep a roll of the active and exempt members of the Volunteer Department, with the dates of their admission, exemption and resignation and the companies to which they belong.

§ 10-23 Rules and regulations.

The following rules and regulations are hereby adopted for the regulation of the Department:

A. 

Strict obedience of any rule or regulation of the Department or of a command or order of a superior officer.

B. 

No person other than a member of the Department or a police officer shall be allowed to ride on any apparatus of the Department while going to or returning from an alarm of fire.

C. 

No apparatus or equipment of the Department shall be taken outside the Borough limits by any member or members of the Department without first having obtained consent of the Borough Manager.

[Amended 1-8-1974 by Ord. No. 34-73; 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

D. 

No subscription papers or books shall be circulated and no money shall be solicited or raised under the auspices of any company without the consent of the Borough Council.

E. 

No member of the Department shall sleep in any company house.

F. 

Gaming or betting, loud or boisterous talking and the use of profane or obscene language in or about company houses are forbidden.

Editor's Note: Former Subsection G, which prohibited the presence of intoxicating liquor and intoxicated persons in company houses, and former Subsection H, which provided that all company houses be closed at 12:00 midnight except in cases of fire, which immediately followed this subsection, were repealed 4-8-1975 by Ord. No. 4-75.

§ 10-24 Offenses.

[Amended 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

Any member of the Fire Department who shall, after a hearing as hereinafter provided, be found guilty of any of the following offenses shall be subject to reprimand, suspension or removal from the service, as determined in each case by the Borough Manager:

A. 

Neglect of duty.

B. 

Incompetence or inefficiency in the service.

C. 

Insubordination.

D. 

Intoxication while on duty or in a company house.

E. 

Immoral or disorderly conduct.

F. 

Commission of any crime.

G. 

Neglect or willful injury or waste of public property.

H. 

Making intentionally a false official statement.

I. 

Disobedience of any rule or regulation of the Department or of the command or order of a superior officer.

§ 10-25 Preferring charges.

[Amended 1-8-1974 by Ord. No. 34-73; 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 7-87]

Charges preferred against a member of the Department shall be made in writing and under oath by the person making the charge, and the charge shall be a specific complaint containing the facts upon which the charge is based and shall be filed with the Borough Manager. Charges will be heard and determined by the Borough Manager, and a member against whom charges have been preferred will be given three days' notice of the hearing and an opportunity to defend himself at a hearing before the Borough Manager or his designee.

§ 10-26 Assignment of equipment; expenses.

[Amended 1-8-1974 by Ord. No. 34-73]
A. 

The assignment of apparatus, equipment, etc., for use by the companies shall be made by the Borough Manager, and no property, furnishings or supplies shall be purchased without the knowledge and approval of the said Borough Manager. Matters that may be considered as affecting the comfort or welfare of the members and the efficiency of the Department, the adjustment of which is conditioned upon added expense to the Borough, must be submitted in a clear and concise way to the Borough Manager and passed upon by the Borough Council.

B. 

The Borough Manager shall cause all bills for any expense of the Department, other than those for fixed charges, to be rendered monthly to the Borough Council by the person with whom the expense is incurred, and the said bills shall be approved by the Borough Manager before being finally passed for payment by the Borough Council.

§ 10-27 Issuing of general orders.

[Amended 1-8-1974 by Ord. No. 34-73]

Any general order issued by direction of the Borough Manager is to be classed as a rule of the Department.

§ 10-27.1 Junior members.

[Added 6-18-2002 by Ord. No. 14-2002]
A. 

Junior members shall be between the ages 14 years and 17 years old.

B. 

Junior members shall adhere to the bylaws, policies and procedures of the Washington Fire Department, junior policies and procedures and motions made and accepted by the body of the Fire Department.

C. 

Junior members shall serve at the will of their parents or guardians.

D. 

Junior members shall maintain a minimum C average in their school grades.

E. 

Junior members shall show the Fire Chief or his appointee their report cards at the conclusion of each marking period. If their grades drop below a C average, they shall be on suspension until their grades are brought back to a C average.

F. 

Junior members shall not ride on any fire apparatus for fire calls until the age of 16.

G. 

Junior members shall not respond to calls before 6:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m.; no mutual aid calls after 9:00 p.m.

H. 

Junior members shall not drive any apparatus until the age of 18.

I. 

Junior members shall adhere to all applicable child labor laws.

J. 

Junior members shall become junior members subject to a physical exam at age 16.

K. 

A monthly meeting and drill will be held when junior membership exceeds five junior members. This meeting and drill to be on a Sunday at 7:00 p.m. Meetings to be held on the first Sunday of the month and the drill to be held on the third Sunday of the month.

L. 

When junior membership is five or less, meetings and drills will be at the option of the appointed junior adviser.

M. 

Junior firefighters will be required to attend 50% of their meetings and drills.

N. 

Junior firefighters will be required to attend 50% of Fire Department drills when no junior meeting and drills are held due to inadequate junior membership.

O. 

The same absence excuses that apply for senior members will apply to junior members.

P. 

All junior members shall be required to attend a minimum of six Fire Department drills per year or forfeit their membership; no excuses for this requirement.

[Adopted 6-6-1989 by Ord. No. 10-89
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Article II, Emergency Squad, adopted 12-7-1937; amended in its entirety 12-12-1978 by Ord. No. 26-78.
]

§ 10-28
Squad recognized. 

§ 10-29
Bylaws, rules and regulations. 

§ 10-30
Training and qualifications of members. 

§ 10-31
Payment of claims. 

§ 10-32
Squad not considered agent or department of Borough. 

§ 10-28 Squad recognized.

The Borough of Washington Emergency Squad (hereafter referred to as the "Squad") is recognized by the Borough of Washington as the first-aid squad authorized by the Borough to respond to emergency medical calls within the Borough.

§ 10-29 Bylaws, rules and regulations.

The Squad shall operate under its own bylaws, rules and regulations, promulgated by its members, which shall not be inconsistent with the laws of the United States, the State of New Jersey and the Borough of Washington.

§ 10-30 Training and qualifications of members.

The Squad shall be responsible to ensure that all its members are fully trained and meet the qualifications applicable to them by law, including but not limited to the qualifications required by the New Jersey Highway Safety Act of 1987, N.J.S.A. 27:5F-18 et seq. In addition, all Squad members shall be certified as required by any governmental agency.

§ 10-31 Payment of claims.

The Squad shall comply with the provisions of Chapter 7, §§ 7-1 through 7-9, of the Code of the Borough of Washington in submitting any claims for payment by the Borough of Washington for any funds donated to the Squad pursuant to statute.

§ 10-32 Squad not considered agent or department of Borough.

The Squad shall not be considered an agent or department of the Borough of Washington.