[Adopted 3-24-1992 by Ord. No. 1514]
There is hereby adopted by the City of Clairton the fire control measures and regulations as herein set forth for the purposes of controlling conditions which could impede or interfere with fire-suppression forces. References herein to the "fire official" shall refer to the Fire Chief or other duly authorized fire official or code enforcement official of the City.
The fire official, or duly authorized representatives, as may be in charge at the scene of a fire or other emergency involving the protection of life and/or property, is empowered to direct such operations as may be necessary to extinguish or control any suspected or reported fires, gas leaks or other hazardous conditions or situations or to take any other action necessary in the reasonable performance of his duty. The fire official may prohibit any person, vehicle or object from approaching the scene and may remove or cause to be removed from the scene any person, vehicle or object which may impede or interfere with the operations of the Fire Department. The fire official may remove or cause to be removed any person, vehicle or object from hazardous areas. All persons ordered to leave a hazardous area shall do so immediately and shall not reenter the area until authorized to do so by the fire official.
It shall be unlawful to interfere with, attempt to interfere with, conspire to interfere with, obstruct or restrict the mobility of or block the path of travel of any Fire Department emergency vehicle in any way or to interfere with, attempt to interfere, conspire to interfere with, obstruct or hamper any Fire Department operation.
A person shall not willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of the fire official nor interfere with the compliance attempts of another individual.
A vehicle shall not be driven or propelled over any unprotected fire hose of the Fire Department when laid down on any street, alleyway, private drive or any other vehicular roadway without the consent of the fire official in command of said operation.
Authorized emergency vehicles shall be restricted to those which are defined and authorized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Upon the approach of any authorized emergency vehicle giving audible and visual signal, the operator of every other vehicle shall immediately drive the same to a position as near as possible and parallel to the right-hand edge or curb of the street or roadway, clear of any intersection, and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle or vehicles shall have passed, unless otherwise directed by the fire official or a police officer.
It shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle, other than one on official business, to follow closer than 500 feet to any fire apparatus traveling in response to a fire alarm or to drive any vehicle within the block or immediate area where fire apparatus has stopped in answer to a fire alarm.
A person shall not, without proper authorization from the fire official in charge of said Fire Department emergency equipment, cling to, attach himself to, climb upon or into, board or swing upon any Fire Department emergency vehicle, whether the same is in motion or at rest, nor sound the siren, horn, bell or other sound-producing device thereon nor manipulate or tamper with or attempt to manipulate or tamper with any levers, valves, switches, starting devices, brakes, pumps or any equipment or protective clothing on or a part of any Fire Department emergency vehicle.
It shall be unlawful for any person to damage or deface or attempt or conspire to damage or deface any Fire Department emergency vehicle at any time or to injure or attempt to injure or conspire to injure Fire Department personnel while performing departmental duties.
The driver of any emergency vehicle, as defined in § 199-27 of this article, shall not sound the siren thereon or have the front red lights on or disobey any existing traffic regulation, except when said vehicle is responding to an emergency call or when responding to, but not upon returning from, a fire. Tactical strategies, such as but not restricted to moving emergency vehicles into or between stations for standby purposes, do not constitute an emergency call. The driver of an emergency vehicle may:
Park or stand irrespective of the provisions of existing traffic regulations.
Proceed past a red or stop signal or other sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation.
Exceed the prima facie speed limit so long as the action does not endanger life or property.
Disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions.
The exemptions herein granted to an emergency vehicle shall apply only when the driver of any such vehicle, while in motion, sounds an audible signal by bell, siren or exhaust whistle as may be reasonably necessary and when the vehicle is equipped with at least one lighted lamp displaying a red light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of 500 feet to the front of such vehicle.
It shall be unlawful to obscure from view, damage, deface, obstruct or restrict the access to any fire hydrant or any Fire Department connection for the pressurization of fire-suppression systems, including fire hydrants and Fire Department connections that are located on public or private streets and access lanes or on private property. Parking restrictions near fire hydrants shall be governed by the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.
Editor's Note: See 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
If upon the expiration of the time mentioned in a notice of violation obstructions or encroachments are not removed, the fire official shall proceed to remove the same in accordance with the procedure for the removal of abandoned vehicles in the City. Cost incurred in the performance of necessary work shall be paid from the municipal treasury on certificate of the fire official and with the approval of the chief administrative official; and the legal authority of the municipality shall institute appropriate action for the recovery of such costs.
A person shall not use or operate any fire hydrant intended for use of the Fire Department for fire-suppression purposes unless such person first secures a permit for such use from the fire official and the water company having jurisdiction. This section shall not apply to the use of such hydrants by a person employed by and authorized to make such use by the water company having jurisdiction.
The fire official shall recommend to the City Manager the location or relocation of new or existing fire hydrants and the placement or replacement of inadequate water mains located upon public property and deemed necessary to provide an adequate fire flow and distribution pattern. A fire hydrant shall not be placed into or removed from service until approved by the fire official.
All new and existing shipyards, oil storage plants, lumberyards, amusement or exhibition parks and educational or institutional complexes and similar occupancies and uses involving high fire or life hazards and which are located more than 150 feet from a public street or which require quantities of water beyond the capabilities of the public water distribution system shall be provided with properly placed fire hydrants. Such fire hydrants shall be capable of supplying fire flows as required by the fire official and shall be connected to a water system in accordance with accepted engineering practices. The fire official shall designate and approve the number and location of fire hydrants. The fire official may require the installation of sufficient fire hose and equipment housed in accordance with the approved rules and may require the establishment of a trained fire brigade when the hazard involved requires such measures. Private hydrants shall not be placed into or removed from service until approved by the fire official.
A person shall not obstruct, remove, tamper with or otherwise disturb any fire hydrant or fire appliance required to be installed or maintained under the provisions of the current Fire Prevention Code adopted by the City except for the purpose of extinguishing fire, training or testing purposes, recharging or making necessary repairs or when permitted by the fire official. Whenever a fire appliance is removed as herein permitted, it shall be replaced or reinstalled as soon as the purpose for which it was removed has been accomplished. Defective and nonapproved fire appliances or equipment shall be replaced or repaired as directed by the fire official.
A person shall not sell, trade, loan or give away any form, type or kind of fire extinguisher which is not approved by the fire official or which is not in proper working order or the contents of which do not meet the requirements of the fire official. The requirements of this section shall not apply to the sale, trade or exchange of obsolete or damaged equipment for junk when said units are permanently disfigured or marked with a permanent sign identifying the unit as junk.
A person or persons shall not erect, construct, place or maintain any bumps, fences, gates, chains, bars, pipes, wood or metal horses or any other type of obstruction in or on any street, within the boundaries of the municipality. The word "street," as used in this article, shall mean any roadway accessible to the public for vehicular traffic, including but not limited to private streets or access lanes, as well as all public streets and highways within the boundaries of the City. Additional restrictions on parking in designated fire lanes shall be as provided in the current Fire Prevention Code adopted by the City.
Special fire police may be nominated by the Fire Chief from among the members of the Clairton Volunteer Fire Department and Relief Association. All such special fire police so nominated may be appointed, confirmed and sworn by the Mayor. After appointment, special fire police shall display appropriate badges of authority and shall have full power to regulate traffic and control crowds at or in the vicinity of any fire on which their companies are in attendance and to exercise such other powers as are necessary in order to facilitate and prevent interference with the work of firefighters in extinguishing fires. Special fire police shall also have the authority to perform these duties at any function, event or parade conducted by and under the auspices of the Volunteer Fire Department or other organization in the City when so authorized by the City Council or, in the event of accidents, floods or other emergencies, until the arrival of the proper police authority and thereafter subject to such authority. In addition to the powers and duties specified in this section, special fire police shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of § 199-33, regarding blocking fire hydrants, and § 199-39, regarding street obstructions and parking in fire lanes.
Any person or persons violating any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 90 days. Each day's violation shall be considered a separate and distinct violation.