Borough of Westwood, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Westwood as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Police Department — See Ch. 59.
Alarm systems — See Ch. 81.
Fire insurance claims — See Ch. 163.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 166.
Article I Pensions for Survivors of Volunteer Firefighters
Article II Establishment, Organization and Regulation
[Adopted 8-27-1968; amended in its entirety 9-27-1977 by Ord. No. 798]
[Amended 6-24-1986 by Ord. No. 86-6]
In the event that a volunteer firefighter of the Borough of Westwood shall die as a result of injuries sustained in the course of the performance of duties as a member of the Volunteer Fire Department of the Borough of Westwood, then the surviving spouse shall be eligible for an annual pension, not to exceed the sum of $5,000, which shall be payable annually to the surviving spouse until said person's death or remarriage. In the event that said surviving spouse shall remarry or die, then said sum of $5,000 shall be divided equally among, and paid annually to, the minor children, if any, of the deceased firefighter until the youngest such child shall reach the age of 18, whereupon the pension shall cease.
[Amended 6-24-1986 by Ord. No. 86-6]
In the event that the deceased firefighter shall leave no surviving spouse but shall leave a minor child or children under the age of 18 years, then in such event, $5,000 shall be divided equally among, and paid annually to, such minor child or children. Nothing in this section shall authorize an increase in any pension heretofore authorized by ordinance or resolution.
[Amended 6-24-1986 by Ord. No. 86-6]
The amount of money pursuant to §§ 30-1 and 30-2 shall be appropriated by the Governing Body and paid annually to the designated surviving spouse or minor children.
The funds appropriated under §§ 30-1 and 30-2 of this article shall be provided for by the Borough in its budget and shall be paid to the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries in the same manner as other Borough employees.
[Amended 6-24-1986 by Ord. No. 86-6]
The initial payment of such pension shall be made as soon as funds are made available therefor, and on the first of the month following the death of such firefighter, if said funds are available.
The date of the first payment of the pension and the total amount of said pension shall be determined by resolution of the Governing Body of the Borough of Westwood.
[Adopted 11-23-1971 by Ord. No. 701]
[Amended 8-19-2003 by Ord. No. 03-12]
A. 
The Fire Department shall consist of a Chief, Deputy Chief, Senior Captain, Captain, First Lieutenant, Second Lieutenant, Third Lieutenant, Fourth Lieutenant and as many firefighters who are citizens of the United States of America and a resident of the State of New Jersey for one year.
[Amended 1-18-2011 by Ord. No. 11-04]
B. 
As of January 1, 2017, any applicant fully approved by the Board of Fire Officers and confirmed by the Mayor and Council is considered an active member of the Westwood Volunteer Fire Department.
[Added 9-19-2017 by Ord. No. 17-25[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also redesignated former Subsections B and C as Subsections C and D, respectively.
C. 
Candidates for active membership in the Fire Department must meet the minimum and maximum age required standards established by the New Jersey State Firemen's Association. Documented proof of age must accompany the application.
[Amended 1-18-2011 by Ord. No. 11-04]
D. 
An active firefighter, from a fire company or department recognized by the State of New Jersey, up to 55 years of age may be admitted to the Westwood Fire Department upon application to a member company as a transfer, with approval by the Board of Fire Officers and the Mayor and Council.
The names of all persons elected to membership in the several companies and proposed as members of the Fire Department shall be presented to the Board of Fire Officers by a certificate, in writing, signed by the Captain and Secretary of the company in which they are selected, to be approved by said Board of Fire Officers previous to the same being presented for confirmation by the Mayor and Council, and names not so approved by the Board of Fire Officers shall be presented to the Mayor and Council for confirmation. All resignations from the Department shall take the same course as elections and propositions to membership as above provided for.
[Amended 1-18-2011 by Ord. No. 11-04]
The Chief, together with the Deputy Chief, the Senior Captain, Captain, First Lieutenant, Second Lieutenant, Third Lieutenant, Fourth Lieutenant, and the Fire Commissioner shall constitute the Board of Fire Officers, which shall meet monthly or more frequently for the transaction of all firematic business of the Department. The Board shall have ultimate direction over the functions and the activities of the Department, subject only to the approval of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Westwood as herein particularly and specifically provided. The Fire Commissioner shall have no voting powers at any Board of Fire Officers meetings.
Any member of the Department who has arrived at the age of 50 years may be retired from services by the Board of Fire Officers on request of his company, by and with the consent and approval of the Mayor and Council, and, in like manner, any member of the Department may be retired and dropped from the roll of active fireman who shall, in the judgment of said company and Board of Fire Officers and the Mayor and Council, be physically incapable of active service.
The Board of Fire Officers is hereby authorized, empowered and required, from time to time hereafter, to direct the Department to adopt a code of bylaws and rules for the control, management and government of said Department, and the regulating of the proceedings and business of said Department, which code or codes of bylaws and rules, after adoption by such Department, shall not become operative and effective until first presented to and approved by the Mayor and Council.
[Amended 1-18-2011 by Ord. No. 11-04]
The annual election of the Board of Fire Officers shall be held on the first Tuesday of December. The Chief and the Deputy Chief shall be elected annually, by ballot, for the year. The Department officers must each receive 60% of the vote of those registered. If a candidate fails to receive 60% of the vote cast, a candidate shall be chosen until election occurs on said night on which the vote is held. The Senior Captain, Captain, First Lieutenant, Second Lieutenant, Third Lieutenant, and Fourth Lieutenant shall be voted upon at the annual elections in December, by ballot, for a year. Officers must receive 60% of the vote of those registered. If a candidate fails to receive 60% of the votes cast, a candidate shall be chosen until election occurs on said night on which the vote is held.
[Amended 1-18-2011 by Ord. No. 11-04]
The Chief, Deputy Chief, Senior Captain, Captain and Lieutenants shall be active members of the Fire Department.
The Mayor and Council shall have the power to remove, for good cause, the Deputy Chief, Senior Captain, Captain or Lieutenants from such office.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
The firemen in said Borough shall be divided into companies, each company to consist of not more than 30 members. The following companies are hereby accepted and shall thereafter constitute the Westwood Fire Department, namely: Continental Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, Continental Hose Company No. 1, Westwood Hose Company No. 2 and such other companies as may hereafter be confirmed by the Mayor and Council upon recommendation of the Board of Fire Officers.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Any member desiring to transfer his membership from one company to another shall present to the Board of Fire Officers a certificate, in writing, signed by the Captain and Secretary of the company of which he is a member, showing the consent of such company to such transfer and a like certificate from the company to which he is seeking to be transferred, consenting to his becoming a member thereof. Upon the receipt of such certificate, the Board of Fire Officers shall permit or deny such transfer, and the action of such Board shall be final and conclusive upon confirmation by the Mayor and Council.
Each of the companies of the Department shall choose, out of their own number, a Secretary, in such manner and such times as the Board of Fire Officers may, in its rules and bylaws for the government of the Department, provide and prescribe.
It shall be the duty of the said companies, as often as any fire shall break out in the limits of the Borough of Westwood, to repair immediately upon the alarm thereof to the fire headquarters of the alarm of fire and to convey their apparatus to or near the place where the fire shall occur, unless otherwise directed by the Chief or other officer in charge, and upon such direction, they shall return their apparatus, well washed and cleaned, to the fire headquarters.
Each company of the Department shall hold at least one meeting a month, at such date as the Board of Fire Officers may, by its bylaws and rules, prescribe, which meeting shall be held for the purpose of transacting such business as may be required under such bylaws and rules of said companies as component parts of the Department.
There shall be held annually one official inspection of the Department by the Mayor and Council, which shall normally be in the month of September in each year, unless adjourned for good reason by the Board of Fire Officers with approval of the Mayor and Council.
A. 
The Chief shall have the general supervision of the Department, which supervision shall be subject to and not in conflict with the rules and bylaws for the government and management of the Department, as may from time to time be adopted by the Mayor and Council, as herein provided, and shall perform such duties as shall devolve upon him as such by the laws of the state and the ordinances of the Borough of Westwood.
B. 
The Captain of any company in the Department shall have the power to use any or all of the apparatus of his company at any time for the purpose of a company drill, except that vehicles shall not be used for drill purposes without the consent of the Chief.
In all cases of fire, alarms of fire, or any other emergency function within the realm of duties particular to the Fire Department, the Chief, or in his absence, the Deputy Chief or the other officers, by rank, shall have sole and entire command over all members of the Department, and apparatus belonging to same, and over all other persons aiding and assisting the Department at emergency incidents and shall direct all measures he may deem proper for the successful management of such emergency incidents.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
In the event of the absence of all elected officers when an alarm is sounded, the first qualified member arriving at the firehouse shall assume the duties of Chief until the arrival of the superior officer. To serve in the capacity of Acting Chief, a firefighter must have served a minimum of five years in the fire service, including three years of Westwood Fire Department active service.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
It shall be the duty of the Chief to report monthly to the Mayor and Council, on its regular meeting night, the condition of the apparatus and appurtenances, the number of fires during the month, their location and cause, and the number of members of the Department responding to the alarms and render to the Mayor and Council, at the annual inspection, a true inventory of the Borough property of the entire Fire Department.
The Chief, or in his absence, the Deputy Chief or other officer acting for him at any fire, is hereby empowered to call upon the police officers of the Borough for such aid as may be necessary for the protection of property, and said police officers are hereby required to furnish such protection and assistance when so called upon.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
The Chief, Deputy Chief, or other officer in command of a fire is hereby given full and complete authority and is hereby authorized and directed to require and secure the removal of any and all obstructions from, in front of and around fire hydrants and, for that purpose, is hereby authorized to call upon the Committee of Fire and Water of the Borough Council for its assistance in securing the removal of such obstruction.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
It shall be the duty of the Secretary of each company to make a report once a month to the Secretary of the Board of Fire Officers in accordance with such rules and regulations as may be established by said Board.
If the Secretary of any company neglects or refuses to make such report to the Secretary of the Board of Fire Officers as aforesaid, the Secretary of the Board of Fire Officers shall immediately prefer charges against such delinquent Secretary in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Board of Fire Officers.
All requests for repairs or supplies for the various companies of the Department shall be presented to the Secretary of the Board of Fire Officers for the approval or recommendation of such Board by the Secretary of such company at the time the monthly report mentioned in § 30-28 of this article is presented, but in case any apparatus becomes so disabled that immediate repairs are necessary, the Captain, mechanic or other officer in charge of the company operating such apparatus shall immediately report the condition of the same to the Chief, who shall be responsible for the property of the Department. He shall see that trucks, hose and all the other property belonging to the Department are kept constantly in order for immediate and efficient service and shall report immediately to the Fire Board any apparatus which becomes so disabled that immediate repairs are necessary.
The officers in command of the companies shall see that such apparatus as may be committed to their care by the Borough and all articles belonging to the Borough are kept neat and clean and ready for immediate use, that no such articles or equipment are removed from the firehouse for personal use and that all such items to be disposed of are done so with the approval of the Fire Commissioner. They shall preserve order and discipline at all times in their respective companies while on firematic duty and shall enforce strict compliance with the rules and regulations of the Department and the orders of the Chief.
Letters of acceptance by the Mayor and Council showing dates of election will be granted to all members of the Department.
Exemption certificates will be granted to those members of the Fire Department who have served the time prescribed by law. Members will not be granted exemption certificates unless they have the required time and have also performed the yearly fire duty required by them for a period equal in years to the number of years required by the State of New Jersey before exemption can be granted.
Certificates will be ordered by the Borough Council with the Borough Seal attached upon recommendation of the Chief and the Board of Fire Officers and will be signed by the Mayor, Clerk and Chief. Time served and average of membership must be certified to by the Captain of the company and the Chief.
It shall be the duty of the Borough Clerk to keep a complete roll of the active and exempt members of the Fire Department, designating the date of their admission, exemptions, resignations and the respective companies to which they belong.
All members of the Fire Department shall answer and attend all alarms of fire within the Borough, as well as all mutual aid alarms and Department drills.
The officers of the Department shall consist of a Chief, Deputy Chief, Senior Captain, Captain, First Lieutenant, Second Lieutenant, Third Lieutenant, and Fourth Lieutenant.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Any member of any company of the Westwood Fire Department, while on fire duty, who shall refuse or voluntarily neglect to obey or execute any orders from the officer in charge at any fire shall, for such offense, be subject to suspension or expulsion, being subject to the approval of the Mayor and Council.
No person, excepting authorized personnel, shall be allowed to enter the firehouse and handle any apparatus or implements belonging to the Department unless accompanied by a member of the Department.
No member of the Department shall lend the Department badge under the penalty of dismissal, and any member losing his badge shall purchase one at his own expense subject to the approval of the Chief.
Each and every member of the Fire Department must wear the badge adopted by the Mayor and Council as part of the dress uniform, and said badge shall designate the number of the member wearing it. Said badge shall be the property of the Borough and shall be distributed to the individual members by the Chief. On resignation, removal, expulsion or death of any member of the Department, his badge must be returned to the Chief unless a deceased member is interred in uniform. All badges are part of the uniform.
A. 
No person shall willfully hinder or molest or attempt to do any violence to any officer or member of the Fire Department, or any other Borough officer, in the performance of his duty at a fire or in going to or in returning from a fire or alarm of fire under penalty of a fine of not more than $200 for each offense.
B. 
All vehicles following fire apparatus going to or from alarms must maintain a distance of 500 feet under the same penalty as Subsection A above.
Any person or persons who shall raise, create or continue a false alarm of fire shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject, upon conviction, to a fine of not more than $200 for each such offense.
No apparatus shall be taken from the firehouse during any fire or the report of any fire unless the Chief, Deputy Chief, Captains, Lieutenants or acting officer shall be present.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
No apparatus shall be let for hire or let in any case except upon consent of the Fire and Water Committee of the Borough Council.
B. 
No fire apparatus shall be taken out of the limits of the Borough without permission of the Chief, and then only in case of a fire in a neighboring municipality or for a parade, drill or contest.
If any company shall vote for the expulsion or suspension of a member, the result of such vote shall be reported to the Board of Fire Officers at its next meeting. The expelled or suspended member shall have the right to appeal before the said Board of Fire Officers and shall state the cause, if any, why such penalty should not be confirmed, and in case of the nonappearance of such expelled or suspended member, or in case his appeal is not sustained, the Chief shall report his name to the Mayor and Council as expelled or suspended.
A. 
All charges for offense or neglect of duty or insubordination while on duty at a fire or firematic duty that may be preferred against any company, officer or member of the Department shall be tried and determined by the Board of Fire Officers, subject, however, to an appeal from such decision to the Mayor and Council, whose determination shall be final.
B. 
All charges made by an officer, acting officer or member must be presented in writing to the Chief within 72 hours after the alleged offense is disclosed, and the Chief shall instruct the Secretary of the Board of Fire Officers to notify the defendant by registered letter to appear at the Board of Fire Officers meeting. Notice shall be given at least 10 days prior to the Board of Fire Officers meeting.
In the event of a vacancy in the office of Chief of Department, the Board of Fire Officers shall immediately cause to be issued a notice of election to be held for the purpose of electing a successor who shall be an active member of the Department, qualified as herein provided, who, upon such election being made and confirmed by the Mayor and Council, shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term. In the interim between the occurrence of such vacancy and the qualification of such successor, the Deputy Chief shall have full power and shall perform all the duties of the Chief of Department.[2]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[2]
Editor's Note: Original § 59-43 of the 1982 Code, Annual election of officers, which immediately followed this section, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
It shall be unlawful for any person, persons, corporation or corporations to interfere with, deface, mutilate or in any way interfere with any fire apparatus or equipment of the Borough of Westwood or to ride upon or over any fire hose while the same shall be in use at any fire, or alarm thereof, or while the same shall be in use or located upon or across any highway or public place in said Borough at the instance of said Fire Department or its duly authorized officer or officers.
[Amended 8-19-2003 by Ord. No. 03-12]
The penalty for each and every violation, as above set forth in § 30-48, shall be a fine of not more than $200 or imprisonment for not more than 60 days, or both, in the discretion of the Judge before whom the matter may be heard.