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City of Marshfield, MO
Webster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[R.O. 2014 §203.010]
There is hereby established a Fire Department for the City, which shall consist of a Chief, Assistant Chief(s) and such organized volunteer Firemen as may be enrolled by the Chief with the consent of the Mayor.
[R.O. 2014 §203.020]
The Fire Department shall have charge of the fire apparatus and equipment and shall keep the same in good order for immediate use, and for more effectively protecting the Firemen in the discharge of their duties, shall as often as practicable thoroughly test the condition of the fire fighting apparatus and equipment. Upon arrival at any fire, the members present shall take all necessary and proper action to extinguish such fire as quickly as possible and with the least damage possible. The Department shall take all reasonable steps necessary under the circumstances to prevent the spread of the fire and damage to adjoining property. If there are two (2) serviceable fire trucks with adequate equipment, and a request is received for fire fighting equipment outside the City Limits, the Fire Chief, or Assistant Fire Chief(s), may determine whether to answer such request depending upon the road conditions, water supply, existence of mutual aid agreements, and other conditions at the time, and his/her decision shall be final. The decision of the Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief(s) shall in no way subject him/her to personal liability. In the event the Fire Department answers the call, it shall take only one (1) truck and not more than one-half (½) of the available members of the Department. The Board of Aldermen of the City of Marshfield will determine from time to time the charges for making a call outside the City Limits, which said charges shall take into consideration the amount of time, the value of equipment and supplies, and the number of Firemen involved in said call, as well as any direct expenses involved.
[R.O. 2014 §203.030]
A. 
The Chief of the Fire Department shall be appointed by the Mayor by and with the consent of the Board of Aldermen at the first (1st) regular meeting of the Board of Aldermen after each City election. The Chief shall hold office for a term of two (2) years until his/her successor is appointed and qualified. The Assistant Chief(s) shall be annually appointed by the Chief of the Fire Department and shall hold office for one (1) year until his/her successor is elected and qualified.
B. 
It shall be the duty of the Fire Chief to examine and report semi-annually to the Mayor the condition of the Department and its equipment, and to recommend such alterations and additions and changes as the Department may, in his/her judgment, require. The Fire Chief shall be directly responsible for direction of all members of the Fire Department and all activities of the Fire Department, and for the administration and co-ordination of Fire Department activities through supervision of subordinate Officers and through review of their activities. The Fire Chief shall make administrative and operational decisions pertaining to fire fighting, fire prevention standards, training and enforcement of laws, regulations and established policies and shall provide for the training and discipline of Fire Department personnel. The Fire Chief shall direct the preparation and ultimate analysis of fire records and reports to secure efficient operation to meet service demands and to comply with authorized requests for information regarding departmental activities and personnel. The Fire Chief shall be responsible for keeping abreast of modern fire fighting methods and administration and shall address civic and other groups concerning the activities and programs of the Fire Department. The Assistant Chief(s) shall perform all duties of the Chief in his/her absence, and shall perform all duties specifically assigned to him/her by the Chief.
[R.O. 2014 §203.040]
The Fire Chief shall have full power, control and command over all persons at a fire, excepting only City Police Officers on duty. He/she shall station the fire apparatus and see to it that all persons belonging to the Fire Department perform the duties required of them. It shall also be the duty of the Chief to direct at all fires such measures as he/she shall deem advisable for the extinguishment and control of such fires. The Chief and Assistant Chief(s) of the Fire Department of this City are acting Police Officers while on duty and have full authority to detain, direct or arrest any person who maliciously obstructs them in the service of their duty and to arrest any person who may be pilfering, carrying away or stealing anything in the time of fire, storms, tornados and floods.
[R.O. 2014 §203.050; Ord. No. 631 §1, 11-12-1992]
Under the authority set forth in Section 70.872 RSMo., the Chief of the Marshfield Fire Department, or his/her designated representative in his/her absence, and the Chief of the Marshfield Police Department, or his/her designated representative in his/her absence, may authorize the Marshfield Fire Department and the Marshfield Police Department, respectively, to respond and provide assistance as requested in any mutual aid or emergency aid request.
[Ord. No. 1850, 5-23-2019]
A. 
Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Section, shall have the following meanings ascribed to them, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ALARM SYSTEM
Any mechanical or electrical device which is designed to be actuated manually or automatically upon the detection of a fire emergency or other emergency in or upon any building, structure, facility or premises through the emission of a sound or transmission of a signal or message.
FALSE ALARM
Any activation of an alarm system intentionally or by inadvertence, negligence or unintentional act to which the City Fire Department responds, including activation caused by the malfunction of the alarm system, except that the following shall not be considered false alarms:
a. 
When the Fire Chief or his/her designee determines that an alarm has been caused by damage, testing or repair of telephone equipment or lines by the telephone company, provided that such incidents are promptly reported to the telephone company.
b. 
When an alarm is caused by an attempted or unauthorized or illegal entry, of which there is visible evidence.
c. 
When an alarm is intentionally caused by a resident or employee acting under a reasonable belief that a need exists to call the Fire Department.
d. 
When an alarm is followed by a call to the Fire Department cancelling the alarm by giving proper information, prior to the arrival of the Fire Department at the source of the alarm.
e. 
When the alarm is caused by a natural or man-made catastrophe, or an act of God, including such events as tornadoes, floods, earthquakes or similar violent conditions.
B. 
Civil Penalties. All false alarms, as defined in this Section, to which the Department responds, after the second false alarm in a one-year period, shall result in a civil penalty as set forth in the following schedule:
1. 
Third false alarm and each false alarm call thereafter from a facility other than a residence within a one-year period, fifty dollars ($50.00) per false alarm call.
2. 
Third false alarm and each false alarm call thereafter from a residence within a one-year period, fifteen dollars ($15.00) per false alarm call.
C. 
Determination That False Alarm Has Occurred. The burden of proof that an alarm call falls within the exceptions to the false alarm definition shall be upon the person charged with the violation. Beginning with a determination by the Department that the third false alarm has occurred, the Department shall send a notice to the alarm user notifying the alarm user of the determination and directing payment within thirty (30) days. For the first two (2) calls, the determination of the Department shall be deemed to be conclusive as to whether or not a false alarm has occurred for all purposes, including prosecution under Subsection (H) of this Section. The Department may consider, in determining whether or not the first two (2) calls are false alarms, any written or oral statement that the alarm user submits, provided such statement is provided within thirty (30) days after the date of notice for the third false alarm. Since no penalties accrue for the first two (2) calls, it has been determined, as a legislative matter, that for administrative convenience there shall be no right to notice or right to contest or appeal the determination of the Department for the first two (2) calls.
D. 
New Systems. Any alarm user who has had an alarm system installed for less than sixty (60) days shall not be subject to the penalties set forth in this Section, nor shall any alarm that occurs within the first sixty (60) days after installation be counted in determining whether more than three (3) false alarms have occurred, provided:
1. 
The alarm user, the alarm business or the installer submits to the Department proof as to when the alarm system was installed within thirty (30) days after notice is given by the Department under Subsection (C) of this Section; and
2. 
The Department determines the date of the installation of the alarm system and that the alarm occurred within the first sixty (60) days after the system was installed.
An alarm user shall provide, upon request from the Department, information concerning the name of the alarm user, the date of the installation, the address where the alarm system was installed, the type of system installed, and such other information as the Department may require to determine the date of installation. If such information has been submitted to the Department and the Department determines that the alarm did not take place within the first sixty (60) days after installation of the alarm system, then the alarm user shall be subject to penalties set forth in this Section. The alarm user may raise, as a defense to prosecution under this Section, that the false alarm took place within the first sixty (60) days after the alarm system was installed, provided the alarm user raised the issue and submitted proof to the Department concerning the date of installation as required in this Section. The alarm user shall have the burden of proving such defense.
E. 
Exceptions. The Department may cancel any notice or civil penalty upon satisfactory proof by the alarm user that a particular alarm falls within the exceptions enumerated in Subsection (A) of this Section.
F. 
Criminal Penally. In addition to the civil penalties stated in this Section, it shall be considered a violation of this Section for an alarm user to have four (4) or more false alarms in a one-year period, as defined in this Section. In a prosecution for this violation under Subsection (H) of this Section, each false alarm after the third such false alarm shall constitute a separate violation. Further, in determining such a violation, the issues of whether an alarm constitutes an exception to the false alarm definition under Subsection (A) of this Section, or when a false alarm occurred with respect to the date of installation of the alarm system, shall be considered affirmative defenses, and the burden of raising and presenting evidence establishing such shall be upon the alarm user. Nothing contained in this Section shall prohibit the court from imposing a fine that is higher than the civil penalty established in this Section.
G. 
Suspension Of Fire Department Response. In addition to the penalties set forth in this Section, the Department shall, upon sending notice of the fourth false alarm in one (1) year, advise the alarm user that the Department shall, upon the eighth false alarm in one (1) year, declare that the alarm system constitutes a public nuisance, and Fire Department response will be suspended. Upon the eighth false alarm, Fire Department response will be suspended, and will be reinitiated only upon receipt of written verification from an alarm business stating that the alarm system is in good working order and that the personnel using that system have been trained in its proper operation. Upon the 12th false alarm within one (1) year, Fire Department response shall be suspended for one (1) year. The Department shall notify the alarm user by ordinary mail sent to the location of the alarm system of any suspension of Fire Department response under this Section. This suspension of Fire Department response described in this Subsection (G) is limited to situations in which the only indication of the need for a Fire Department response to the location is the alarm generated by the activation of the alarm system at issue, and shall not include any situations in which an alarm activation is accompanied by other information or verification indicating a need for a Fire Department response to that location.
H. 
Penalty; Additional Remedies.
1. 
Any person who violates or causes a violation of any provision of this Section shall be punished, upon conviction, in accordance with the provisions of Section 100.240.
2. 
The City Attorney may bring an action in the name of the City to restrain or prevent a violation of any provision of this Section or any continuance of any such violation.