[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Honesdale 10-11-1993 by Ord. No. 530. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Fire Department of the Borough of Honesdale shall be composed of a Fire Chief, a Deputy Fire Chief, a Captain and three Lieutenants from each company and other officers as the Department may require for operations such as the rescue, dive rescue, fire police, etc.
On or before the last Monday of September in each election year and at all other times when requested by the Borough Council, the Secretary of each Fire Company shall make a report in writing setting forth the names of the candidates for Fire Chief nominated by his/her company, said report to be given to the Mayor of the borough.
It shall be the duty of the Mayor, under the direction of the Borough Council, to give notice of the time and place for the holding of any election for Fire Chief by advertisement in one or more newspapers published in said borough and by handbills posted in four Fire Company meeting rooms at least 10 days before such election.
On the first Monday of October 1987, and on the first Monday of October of every second year thereafter, the members of the Honesdale Fire Department shall elect one person to be Fire Chief, and that person shall hold this office until his or her successor shall be duly elected and qualified. Said election shall be held by the Mayor of the borough, together with one member from each Fire Company elected at its September meeting immediately preceding the election to be held in October of the appropriate year. The Mayor shall make return of such election to the Council of the borough at its first meeting after the election shall have been held and shall, within said time, give a certificate of election to the person elected Fire Chief. The Deputy Fire Chief shall be appointed by the Chief immediately after the election. The selection is subject to approval of the other officers of the Department at a meeting to be held within two weeks of the Chief's election. The Captains and Lieutenants will be elected or appointed according to the bylaws of their individual Company. Their terms of office shall also be directed by their Company.
The Fire Chief, immediately after taking office, shall call a meeting of the Captains and Lieutenants of each Company and shall examine all equipment. The Fire Chief shall call such meeting annually.
The Fire Chief shall keep a record of the officers and members of the Fire Department and upon the expiration of his term of office shall deliver the same to his successor.
Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of Fire Chief by death or resignation or for any reason, the Deputy Fire Chief shall fill the vacancy of Fire Chief until a new election is held. Such election for the new Fire Chief shall take place within 60 days of the death, resignation or removal of the Fire Chief for any reason whatsoever to cover the unexpired term. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Deputy Fire Chief by death or resignation or for any reason, the Fire Chief shall appoint a new Deputy Fire Chief as provided in § 19-4.
All charges brought against the Fire Chief shall be made in writing, particularly specifying the conduct complained of, and shall be signed by at least 10 active members of the Fire Department and shall be presented to the Borough Council, and said Council shall, within 20 days thereafter, proceed to examine the same if, in its judgment, such charges require examination. If such charges are sustained and, in the opinion of said Council, the interests of the Fire Department demand the removal of the officer against whom such charges are brought, it shall be the duty of such Council to remove such officer and appoint his or her successor until an election can be held to fill the vacancy occasioned by such removal, which said election shall be held on some day appointed by the Council within 20 days after the removal of such officer. Said election shall be held in the manner set forth in § 19-4 of this chapter, provided that the officer complained of in such charges shall be by the Borough Council furnished with a written notice of the time and place of such examination and with a copy of such charges at least 10 days before such examination and shall have the right to be present at such examination, to produce evidence in his or her favor and to examine and cross-examine witnesses.
Any neglect or refusal on the part of any officer to perform any duty required by him or her or by any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the provisions of § 19-8.
In case of a fire, an alarm of fire, training or any other Fire Department function, if any officer or member of any Fire Company shall neglect or refuse to obey the directions of the Fire Chief or the Deputy Fire Chief, Company Captains/Lieutenants or any other person lawfully acting as such officer, it shall be reported to the Company of this person, in writing, incurred by such officer or member.
All fire apparatus connected with the Fire Department shall be kept in such places as designated by approval from the Fire Chief, a majority of the line officers of the Fire Department and the Borough Council.
To justify the purchase of any apparatus and match the specific needs of the Fire Department, such purchase must receive final approval from the Fire Chief, a majority of the line officers of the Fire Department and the Borough Council.
In the case of fire, alarm of fire, training, when on parade or any other Fire Department function, the Fire Department apparatus shall be subject to the control of the Captains or Lieutenants of each of the Fire Companies.
At any time of fire or emergency, if the Fire Chief is absent, the Deputy Fire Chief will be in charge. If the Fire Chief and the Deputy Fire Chief are absent, the Captain or ranking Lieutenant of the first Company arriving will be considered to be in charge of the fire or emergency until the arrival of the Fire Chief or Deputy Fire Chief.
In case a request is made to take the Fire Department apparatus out of the borough for use at a fire or for other purposes, such requests must be granted by the Captain of each Company, the Fire Chief or the President of the Borough Council.
If any Fire Company, in case of fire, alarm of fire, training or any other Fire Department function, shall misbehave itself or at any time shall neglect or refuse to take proper care of the Fire Department apparatus or other property entrusted to its care or shall in any way be guilty of conduct calculated to damage the interest of the Fire Department, it shall be the duty of the Borough Council of said borough, upon specifications in writing particularly setting forth the misconduct of such Company, signed by the Fire Chief, to give the President, the Captain and other officers of said Company notice of such complaint, together with a copy of such specifications; said notice shall set forth the time and place of the examination of such specifications, and within 15 days after such notice shall have been given, it shall be the duty of said Council to examine such charges in said specifications, and if said charges are sustained, such Company shall, if said Borough Council deems that the interests of the Fire Department require the same to be done, be disbanded, and all property belonging to said borough in the possession of said Company shall be taken from it, provided that such Company shall have the right at such examination to produce witnesses in its favor and may appoint a committee of its members, not exceeding three in number, to appear for it at such examination and examine and cross-examine witnesses.
The Borough Council of said borough may, whenever it thinks the interest of the Fire Department of said borough requires the same to be done, disband any Fire Company and take possession of any property belonging to said borough in the charge and care of the Council. Whenever said Council shall disband any such Company, it shall cause a written notice of the fact that such Company is disbanded to be served forthwith upon the President, Captain or other officers of such disbanded Company and shall also notify the Fire Chief of the fact that such Company has been disbanded.
All Fire Department members shall at all times and under all circumstances comply with any and all federal, state, local and Fire Department rules, laws and regulations.
[Amended 12-12-2005 by Ord. No. 610]
The Fire Department may appoint up to 24 fire police from the membership of any of the four companies to serve as fire police, who shall be under the direction of the Mayor or his or her designee, i.e., Borough Police Chief, or Council President, and the Fire Chief or officer in charge as previously set forth in the Fire Department chain of command.
The fire police shall be regulated by a set of uniform guidelines to be established in the bylaws of each Fire Company. These guidelines shall be established by a committee consisting of the Mayor, Borough Police Chief, Fire Chief, Captain of fire police and the Captain from each Fire Company, and said guidelines shall comply with all federal, state, local and Fire Department rules, laws and regulations.