City of Latrobe, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of Latrobe 7-13-1981 by Ord. No. 1981-2 as Ch. I, Part 5, of the 1981 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 117.
Outdoor burning — See Ch. 262.
Fire insurance claims — See Ch. 273.
Fire limits; fireproof construction — See Ch. 275.
Fire prevention standards — See Ch. 279.

§ 271-1 Department established; composition; word usage.

[Amended 10-13-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-10]
A. 
The Fire Department of Latrobe shall consist of one Fire Chief, volunteer companies and drivers of Latrobe fire equipment, all of whom shall be governed by federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations, and, where not inconsistent, by the Fire Department Code of Laws and the rules and regulations of the respective volunteer companies.
B. 
The term "Fire Department of Latrobe" shall also be synonymous with "Fire Department" or "Department."

§ 271-2 Qualifications and appointment of Fire Chief; term; removal; vacancies.

[Amended 5-14-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-9; 10-13-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-10]
The Fire Chief shall be a resident of Latrobe or shall reside within a radius of five miles from the central fire station, with not less than 10 years' fire-fighting experience, of which five continuous years of service shall be with the Fire Department. The Fire Chief shall be recommended to City Manager as a result of the elections for Fire Chief held by the Fire Department. Upon recommendation of the City Manager, the Fire Chief may then be appointed by a majority vote by the members of Council for the term of two years beginning with the first Monday of January of the year of his appointment. In the event of vacancy in office due to resignation or removal for cause, a successor shall be appointed at the first regular meeting of the Council following said resignation or removal or at a special meeting called for said purpose to fill the unexpired term.

§ 271-3 Powers and duties of Fire Chief.

The Fire Chief shall at all times have sole command over the Fire Department, its members and officers and at fires shall also have sole command over the members of the police force whose services may be required and all other persons present at said fire and shall, at all times, be in charge of all equipment and apparatus of the Fire Department or companies. It shall be his duty to be present at all fires and take such measures as in his opinion may be necessary for the extinguishment of fires, protection of property, preservation of order and compliance with ordinances of Latrobe and rules and regulations of the Fire Department. It shall be his duty to know the condition of the fire equipment and apparatus of Latrobe and the companies, together with the buildings used by the Fire Department and occupied by the companies, and make proper recommendations for the reconditioning, renewal and repair of the same. It shall be his duty, when so directed by the Council, to report all accidents by fire and the cause thereof, the amount of damages done to and the names of owners of properties damaged. Supplies for the Fire Department can be obtained only on his order, with all bills to be certified by him to the Council for payment, subject to the condition that items costing more than $5 shall not be contracted by him without approval of the Fire Committee of the Council. It shall be his duty, within five days following his appointment, to file with the Secretary of the Council an itemized list of all of the property of or pertaining to the Fire Department coming into his control and possession, together with his receipt for the same. It shall be his duty to see that the same is kept in good order and repair and at the expiration of his term of office to turn said property over to Latrobe or to his successor. Before any rules or regulations adopted by him and not otherwise provided for in this chapter shall become operative, they must be approved by the Council.

§ 271-4 Members and officers of volunteer fire companies duties; suspension and discharge.

[Amended 5-14-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-9; 10-13-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-10]
A. 
The members of the volunteer companies shall be elected according the rules and regulations of the Fire Department, and, where not inconsistent, by the rules and regulations of the respective volunteer company's by-laws. Their officers shall be a Captain with not less than five years' fire-fighting experience, of which three consecutive years of service shall be with the Fire Department; a First Lieutenant and Second Lieutenant, each with not less than three consecutive years' fire-fighting experience with the Fire Department; and such executive officers as may be provided for in company by-laws and who shall be elected by the respective companies.
B. 
It shall be the duty of each Captain to see that the apparatus, equipment and building of his company and of Latrobe in the custody of said company shall be kept in good order and condition and ready for immediate use. It shall be his duty to maintain proper order and discipline among the members of his company at all times. It shall be the duties of the First and Second Lieutenants to perform all duties delegated to them by the Captain and in his absence to be responsible for the duties herein delegated to him. It shall be the duty of the Captains and First and Second lieutenants to carry into effect and perform all duties delegated to them by the Fire Chief or his assistants. They or any of them shall have the authority to suspend any member at any time for cause shown, which suspension shall continue until the next regular meeting. At said meeting, following a hearing to be conducted by the Captain and the two Lieutenants, said suspension shall either be terminated or continued for such period as may be decided upon by said three officers or the member be discharged from the Fire Department and company with right of appeal to the Fire Chief, Captains and First and Second Lieutenants of all of the companies, who shall either sustain or reverse the action previously taken, at a hearing to be held upon request, in writing, filed with the Fire Chief within 10 days following suspension or discharge.

§ 271-5 Assistant Chiefs; drivers; appointments and hiring; suspension of officers and members by Chief.

[Amended 12-9-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-13; 10-13-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-10]
A. 
The Fire Chief shall have the right to appoint such Assistant Chiefs with not less than 10 years of fire-fighting experience, of which five continuous years of service are to be with the Fire Department to serve for such periods as he may deem necessary and to delegate such duties to the Captains and Lieutenants of the respective companies as he may deem necessary.
B. 
The City Manager shall hire a fire truck driver and, after consultation with the Fire Chief, shall hire members, in good standing, of any fire department, and whose selection shall be in compliance with criteria established by the City or its designee. All of said hirees shall be responsible to the Fire Chief. Before entering upon their duties, each of said officers shall subscribe an oath or affirmation that they and each of them will faithfully observe the rules of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the ordinances of Latrobe relating to their offices and do and perform all of the duties of their offices faithfully and to the best of their abilities.
C. 
The Fire Chief shall have the right to suspend any officer or member of the Fire Department or of any of the companies for cause shown. The suspended officer or member shall have the right and privilege of a hearing before the Fire Chief, the Captains and Lieutenants of the various companies in the manner as provided in § 271-4 above. At said hearing, said suspension shall either be terminated or continued for such period as may be then determined or the officer or member discharged from the Fire Department, with said ruling being final.

§ 271-6 Appointment of company officers.

In the event of disagreement among the members of a company or inability of the Captain, First Lieutenant and/or Second Lieutenant to maintain proper control of said company or following suspension or discharge as provided in § 271-5 above, the Fire Chief shall appoint a successor or successors who shall hold office until the Fire Chief, together with the Captains, First and Second Lieutenants of the various companies, or a majority of them, shall determine that the members of said company are capable of again resuming responsibility for the governing of their company.

§ 271-7 Officers and members to abide by regulations.

[Amended 10-13-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-10]
It shall be the duty of all officers and members of the Fire Department to abide by the rules and regulations of the Fire Department pertaining to the duties of officers and members whenever there is a fire or any other emergency requiring their services.

§ 271-8 Unlawful acts.

[Amended 4-23-1996 by Ord. No. 1996-5; 10-13-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-10]
No person shall deface, injure or destroy any property of or in the custody of the Fire Department nor hinder or obstruct any fire company or any member thereof from freely passing along the streets of Latrobe to or from a fire nor in any manner hinder or prevent any fire company or member of the same from operating at a fire. Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600, and costs of prosecution or, in default of payment of such fine and costs, to undergo imprisonment for not more than 30 days and face expulsion from the Fire Department.

§ 271-9 Discharge of fire company from Latrobe service.

In the event that any company shall fail to take proper care of all apparatus, equipment and buildings in its possession, however acquired, or fail to properly perform the services at fires or emergencies required by the Fire Chief or his assistants, the Council may, if it deems it expedient, take possession of said apparatus, equipment, buildings, etc., and discharge said company and its officers from the service of Latrobe.

§ 271-10 Swearing in of special officers.

The Mayor is hereby authorized to swear in as special officers such members of the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department, not exceeding 25 in number, as may be designated by the Fire Chief.

§ 271-11 Salary of special officers.

Said special officers shall each be paid an annual salary of $1.

§ 271-12 Authority and duties of special officers.

The duties of said special officers shall be to police parades, fires and fire drills and to act as special police officers at the call of the Mayor. Said special officers shall not have the right to make arrests or to represent Latrobe in any capacity as police officers whatsoever, except when they are policing parades, fires or fire drills or serving in some other capacity at the call of the Mayor.

§ 271-13 Authorized duties of Department and company members.

[Added 10-11-1982 by Ord. No. 1982-10]
A. 
The Latrobe Council has determined that for the protection and benefit of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Latrobe and the areas adjacent thereto, the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department and separate companies thereof have been in existence for many years in the past, performing many acts, functions and duties deemed necessary and appropriate by the Department, its duly elected and appointed officers and the members thereof and by Latrobe through its officers and the Council; and
B. 
The Latrobe Council has determined that it is necessary for the protection of individual members of the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department and companies that the performance of acts, duties or functions are with the full authorization of the Latrobe Council as the governing body of the municipality under which the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department and the companies thereof continue to function, and it is hereby ordained that the following are authorized duties and acts:
(1) 
The Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department and the individual companies thereof are fully authorized to continue to perform all of the functions, duties and acts as have been performed in the past or may be deemed appropriate in the future in order to carry out fully the purposes for which the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department and the individual companies thereof have been formed in the prevention of or fighting fires or in taking any other kind of action in any type of emergency, accident, catastrophe or under any set of conditions requiring the service of the Department or the companies thereof, within the determination and direction of the duly appointed and elected officers of the Department and the companies thereof.
(2) 
For all purposes, any person who is at any time a member of the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department or any individual company thereof shall be considered as a "municipal volunteer" entitled to any and all protection and benefits under all applicable laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Latrobe or any other municipality applicable under any circumstances in which at any time that act or function is performed.
(3) 
The functions, duties and acts authorized to be performed are all those authorized by any applicable laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, ordinance of Latrobe or any other applicable jurisdiction in addition to all of those duties, acts or functions which are deemed appropriate and necessary under any given set of circumstances to perform the purposes for which the Department has been formed in the fighting and prevention of fires or any act required to meet any type of emergency, accident, catastrophe or condition. In addition, by way of illustration, and not to be interpreted as limitation, the following types of acts or functions performed by any or all members of the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department shall for all purposes be considered authorized acts:
(a) 
Any and all types of fundraising activities, fairs, carnivals, residential solicitation, whether performed within or beyond the municipal boundary lines of Latrobe, and the travel to and from any and all such functions.
(b) 
Participation with other agencies in mutual aid, attendance at training schools, association meetings, conventions, parades and all other types of civic functions within or beyond the municipal boundary lines of Latrobe.
(c) 
Any act, function or duty performed by any member at or under the direction of any duly elected or appointed officers of the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department or any company thereof or any other officer in command or in the line of command supervising any particular function, event or activity where duties are required to be performed in cooperation with other fire or emergency type organizations, whether volunteer, governmental or otherwise.