[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Nekoosa 2-9-1988 by Ord. No. 423. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Department shall be known as the "City of Nekoosa Volunteer Fire Department" and shall consist of the Fire Chief, an Assistant Fire Chief, and one Captain and one Lieutenant for each company, and such subordinates as may be authorized by the Council.
The Department shall be governed by the bylaws of the Department, City ordinances and resolutions, and the Wisconsin Statutes. Bylaws adopted by the Department membership shall not be operative until approved by the Council.
The Fire Chief shall have the power to suspend, demote, expel or otherwise discipline members of the Department, subject to appeal to the Council.
The Fire Chief shall file with the City Clerk, by October 1 of each year, a detailed estimate of the appropriations needed for the conduct of the Department during the ensuing fiscal year.
General supervision. The Chief shall have the general supervision of the Department, which supervision shall be subject to and not conflict with this chapter and the bylaws of the Department. He shall be responsible for the safety of the members of the Department. He shall also obey all lawful written orders of the Mayor and the Council.
Presiding officer. The Chief or, in his absence, the highest ranking officer shall preside at all meetings of the Department, call special meetings, preserve order, decide all points of order that may arise, and enforce the provisions of this chapter and the bylaws.
Command of fire-fighting operations. The Chief shall be present at all fires, if possible, and have complete command and entire responsibility for all fire-fighting operations, plan the control of the same, direct the action of the companies when they arrive at a fire, observe that every company does its duty, grant leaves of absence at a fire when he may deem it proper, and see that the fire apparatus is kept in proper condition at all times.
Reports to the Council. The Chief shall submit a written report to the Council not later than October 1 of each year, and at such times as he deems desirable, relating to the condition of various pieces of apparatus and appurtenances, budget recommendations for the coming year, the number of fires occurring since the previous report and the date of the same and the loss occasioned thereby, the total number of active members in the Department, and resignations and expulsions from the Department. He shall also report upon the drill and training program of the Department, together with other pertinent information, including recommendations for such improvements as he deems proper and necessary for the operation of the Department.
Enforcement of fire-prevention ordinances. He shall enforce all fire-prevention ordinances of the City and the state laws and regulations pertaining to fire prevention and shall keep citizens informed on fire-prevention methods and on the activities of the Department.
Fire record book. He shall keep a fire record book of every fire to which the Department was called and shall enter in such book the location of the fire, the time the alarm was received, the cause of the fire, where the fire started, the cause of delay, if any, in responding, estimated fire loss, the time the fire was extinguished, the names of the members responding and general remarks.
Apparatus inventory. He shall keep an inventory of all apparatus and equipment and an inventory of all hose showing dates and results of tests on each length, which shall be individually numbered.
Duties as commanding officer. He shall perform such other duties as are usually incumbent on the commanding officers of fire departments.
The Chief shall have control of all apparatus used by the Department and shall be responsible for its proper maintenance. Emergency repairs may be authorized by the Chief or, in his absence, the highest ranking officer.
No apparatus shall be used for any purpose except for firefighting that is within the City limits, or in training therefor, except pursuant to contracts and mutual aid agreements approved by the Council. With the approval of the Chief, such apparatus may be used for emergency purposes within the City. The Chief may authorize the use of apparatus for legitimate civic purposes.
Police authority at fires. The Chief and his assistants or officers in command at any fire are hereby vested with full and complete police authority. Any officer of the Department may cause the arrest of any person failing to give the right-of-way to the Fire Department in responding to a fire.
Control of fires. The Fire Chief may prescribe certain limits in the vicinity of any fire within which no persons except firemen and policemen and those admitted by order of any officer of the Department shall be permitted to enter. The Chief may cause the removal of any property whenever it shall become necessary for the preservation of such property from fire or to prevent the spreading of fire or to protect the adjoining property, and, during the progress of any fire, he may order the removal or destruction of any property necessary to prevent the further spread of the fire. He may also cause the removal of all wires or other facilities and the turning off of all electricity or other services where the same impedes the work of the Department during the progress of a fire.
Entering premises. Any fireman, while acting under the direction of the Fire Chief or other officer in command, may enter upon the premises adjacent to or in the vicinity of any building or other property then on fire for the purpose of extinguishing such fire, and if any person shall hinder, resist or obstruct any fireman in the discharge of his duty, as is hereinbefore provided, the person so offending shall be deemed guilty of resisting firemen in the discharge of their duties.
Duties of bystanders. Every person who shall be present at a fire shall be subject to the orders of the Fire Chief or officer in command and may be required to render assistance in fighting the fire or removing or guarding property. Such officer may cause the arrest of any person refusing to obey said orders.
Injury to equipment prohibited. No person shall willfully injure in any manner any hose, hydrant or fire apparatus belonging to the City, and no vehicle or railroad equipment shall be driven over any unprotected hose of the Fire Department when laid down on any street, private driveway, track or other place to be used at any fire or alarm of fire, without the consent of the Fire Department official in command.
Fire Chief to be Fire Inspector. The Fire Chief shall hold the office of Fire Inspector, with power to appoint one or more Deputy Fire Inspectors, who shall perform the same duties and have the same powers as the Fire Inspector.
Inspection duties. Fire Inspectors shall inspect, semiannually, all buildings, premises and public thoroughfares, except the interior of private dwellings, within the City limits for the purpose of noting and causing to be corrected any conditions liable to cause fires. Repairs or alterations necessary to remove the hazardous condition shall be made within a reasonable time at the expense of the owner. The Inspector shall also investigate the storage and handling of all explosives and inflammable liquids within the City.
Written record of inspections. The Chief shall keep a written record card of each property inspected which shall conform to the requirements of the State Department of Safety and Professional Services and shall make a semiannual report of inspections required by said Department.
Correction of fire hazards.
[Amended by Ord. No. 527]
When any inspection by the Fire Chief or his Deputies reveals any conditions liable to cause fire, or any violations of any law relating to fire hazards, the prevention of fires, or life safety, the Chief or his Deputies may serve an order in writing upon the owner of the property, occupant of the property, or other persons responsible for the conditions, violations or life safety issues, giving said owner, occupant, or other person responsible a reasonable time in which to remove or remedy the dangerous condition or hazard by such manners as may be specified in said order. If the fire hazard is not removed or remedied within the time allowed, it shall be deemed a nuisance, and the Fire Chief or his Deputy may have the same removed or remedied by the City, and the cost of such removal or remedy shall be recovered in an action by the City against the owner of the property and may also be entered on the tax roll as a special charge against the property. In addition to service of such order for removal or remedy, the Fire Chief or his Deputies may issue citations pursuant to § 9.20 of this Code.
The service of such orders and citations may be made upon the owner, occupant, or other person responsible for the conditions, either by delivering a copy personally or by delivering the same to and leaving it with any person in charge of the premises or, in case no such person is found upon the premises, by affixing a copy thereof in a conspicuous place on the door to the entrance of the said premises. Whenever it may be necessary to serve such an order, citation, or both, upon the owner of the premises, such order, citation, or both, may be served either by delivering to and leaving with the said person a copy of the said order, citation, or both, or, if such owner is absent from the jurisdiction of the officer making the order, citation, or both, by mailing such copy to the owner's last known post office address.
If buildings or other premises are owned by one person and occupied by another, under lease or otherwise, the orders issued in connection with the enforcing of this Code shall apply to the occupant thereof, except where the rules or orders require the making of such additions to or changes in the premises themselves, such as would immediately become real estate and be the property of the owner of the premises; in such cases, the rules or orders shall affect the owner and not the occupant unless it is otherwise agreed between the owner and the occupant.
Entering on premises. No person shall deny the Fire Inspector or his Deputies free access to any property within the City at any reasonable time for the purpose of making fire inspections. No person shall hinder or obstruct the Fire Inspector in the performance of his duty or refuse to observe any lawful direction given by him.
No person shall permit any wastepaper, empty boxes, excelsior or other similar inflammable materials to collect or remain upon the premises owned or occupied by said person, on the outside of any building or placed in any public street or alley, unless the same shall be contained within a covered fireproof container.
All gasoline stations, bulk gasoline storage facilities, and any facility for storing benzene, naphtha or any other volatile liquid shall be constructed and maintained in conformity with the regulations prescribed by the state statutes and the rules and regulations of the State Department of Safety and Professional Services.
No person shall keep or store more than 10 pounds of gunpowder at any place within the City without the written permission of the Fire Chief. Any dealer permitted to keep at his place of business in excess of 10 pounds of gunpowder shall not keep more than 200 pounds at any one time, and such gunpowder shall be kept in a safely constructed box, painted yellow, with the word "powder" printed or painted thereon in black letters not less than five inches in height, and equipped with handles so that the same may be readily moved in case of fire, and such box shall be kept in such part of the dealer's place of business as may be directed by the Fire Chief.
No person shall keep or store within the City any nitroglycerine, dynamite, giant powder or other explosives more violent than gunpowder without the written permission of the Fire Chief or otherwise than in accordance with the conditions prescribed in such permission as granted, and in no case shall more than 50 pounds of any such explosive be stored or kept within 300 feet of any dwelling or other occupied building. The Fire Chief may direct the placement and the manner of keeping the same and the precautions to be observed in connection therewith.
The officers and members of the Fire Department, with their fire equipment of every kind, when going to or on duty at a fire, shall have the right-of-way over all other vehicles upon City streets, and the operator of any other vehicle, whether motor or otherwise, upon the approach of such fire apparatus, shall immediately drive such other vehicle as far as possible to the right of the thoroughfare and shall keep such vehicle stationary until such fire apparatus shall have passed. Except when actually responding to a fire alarm or other emergency call, or when on duty at a fire, the apparatus and vehicles of the Fire Department shall, however, have no special right-of-way or other privileges of any kind, but shall be subject to all traffic regulations applicable to other vehicles.
All volunteer firemen, when responding to a fire call with a private vehicle, shall comply with all traffic regulations.
Social club. Members of the Department may organize a social club, provided that social activities are not funded from City funds or any reimbursement for firefighting.
Fund-raising. The social club may raise funds for social activities, provided that any advertising clearly states the purpose the funds are being raised for.
[Amended by Ord. No. 527]
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or fail to comply therewith, or who shall violate or fail to comply with any order made thereunder, or who shall fail to comply with such an order as affirmed or modified by the Chief of the Fire Department or the Council or by a court of competent jurisdiction, within the time fixed therein, shall be subject to a penalty as provided in § 25.04 of this Code. The application of the above penalty shall not be held to prevent the enforced removal of prohibited conditions, as provided in § 5.09(4) of this Code.