[Note: The enabling statute for ordinances relating to Fire Departments is N.J.S.A. 40A:14-7 et seq.]
[1972 Code § 3-1]
The Fire Department of the Borough of Woodland Park is hereby created and established with jurisdictional boundaries coextensive with the boundaries of the Borough.
[1972 Code § 3-2]
The Fire Department of the Borough of Woodland Park shall consist of the three (3) existing Companies and shall have one (1) Chief and three (3) Assistant Chiefs. Each Company shall have a Captain, a First Lieutenant and a Second Lieutenant. There shall be other companies, officers and Firefighters as may be deemed necessary by the Municipal Council and selected by the Fire Department with the approval of the Council.
[1972 Code § 3-3; Ord. No. 75-10 § I]
The Board of Fire Officers shall consist of the Chief, three (3) Assistant Chiefs and such other Assistant Chiefs as provided for in Subsection 3-3.2 hereof, three (3) Captains and one (1) member of each of the Companies elected annually, these members to have a minimum of sixty (60%) percent of fire duty. The Board shall have the powers and duties specified under rules and regulations of the Department.
[Ord. No. 75-10 § I; Ord. No. 81-8 § I]
A Firefighter who has served as a Department Chief or Assistant Chief for a minimum of twelve (12) years, with a minimum of three (3) years as Chief, shall hold the rank of Assistant Chief provided he remains an active firefighter and has an annual minimum of sixty (60%) percent of fire duty.
[1972 Code § 3-4.1; Ord. No. 75-10 § II; Ord. No. 86-5 § 1]
Persons who are members of the Woodland Park Fire Department as of the date of adoption of this Revision, are hereby recognized as members of the Fire Department. After this date each applicant for membership shall have the following qualifications at the time of his application.
Be a citizen of the United States.
Be a resident of the municipality or maintain a residence within two (2) miles of the Borough of Woodland Park for at least six (6) months prior to the time of his application. However, in the case of a Firefighter who was a former member of a volunteer company affiliated with a local relief association and who resigned before serving the required seven (7) years for exempt status, he may within one (1) year of his resignation from his former company become a member of the Fire Department. If application for membership reinstatement in the Woodland Park Fire Department is made after one (1) year of applicant's resignation from his former company, the applicant shall be considered a new applicant and shall be within the age limit of twenty-one (21) to fifty (50) and shall pass a physical examination.
Be not less than eighteen (18) years of age and not more than fifty (50) years of age.
Be in good health and of sound body, to be evidenced by a certificate to that effect signed by a licensed practicing physician of the State of New Jersey.
Be of good moral character.
Be approved for membership by filing on the State Fireman's Association approved form a written application for membership in the Department. This application shall be approved by the Chief of the Department before the application shall be voted upon.
[1972 Code § 3-4.2; Ord. No. 75-10 § 3; Ord. No. 81-2 § IV]
Members shall be divided in two (2) classifications as follows:
An active manner shall not be less than eighteen (18) years of age or above the age of fifty (50) when he makes application for membership, and must fulfill the requirements of Subsection 3-4.1 above at the time of filing his application.
Exempt members are active members of the Fire Department who have worked for their exemption certificate and have served seven (7) years of active duty as required by N.J.S.A. 40:47-53.
Senior Firefighter. A senior Firefighter shall be one who is qualified as set forth herein:
Each senior Firefighter must have served as a Firefighter in the Borough of Woodland Park achieving a minimum of fifty (50%) percent for twenty (20) years.
A senior Firefighter must have attained the age of fifty (50) years.
In lieu of twenty (20) years of service, a senior Firefighter must have served at least eight (8) years, received his exempt Firefighter's status and not be permanently medically disqualified from performing the normal duties of a Firefighter.
Any senior Firefighter who performs less than thirty (30%) percent duty for one (1) year as defined in Section 3-5 of this chapter, shall be ordered to appear before the Board of Fire Officers to account for his performance. Any senior Firefighter who for two (2) consecutive years performs less than thirty (30%) percent duty shall be ordered to appear before the Board of Fire Officers to show cause why he should not be automatically dropped from the membership rolls of the Fire Department.
A senior Firefighter must be a resident of the Borough of Woodland Park at all times.
A senior Firefighter may provide logistical support functions at a fire location as deemed necessary by the officer in charge.
Be in good health and sound body, to be evidenced by a certificate to that effect signed by a licensed practicing physician of the State of New Jersey no less than once every two (2) years.
[1972 Code § 3-4.3]
Upon election of a member by a Company the name of the member shall be submitted to the Council for its approval. Upon approval by the majority of the Council by appropriate resolution, the applicant shall then become a member of the Fire Department. The Council shall indicate in writing to the Chief of the Fire Department its approval or disapproval of the applicant within sixty (60) days after receipt of the name from the Company.
[1972 Code § 3-4.4]
Each active member of the Fire Department after his election and approval shall have issued to him an identification card showing the date of his election to membership, signed by the Mayor and attested by the Municipal Clerk and countersigned by the Chief of the Department with the corporate seal of the municipality affixed. In addition, a badge of membership in the Department shall be issued to him. The badge, along with all other municipally-owned equipment, shall remain the property of the municipality and shall be redelivered to the Chief of the Fire Department on demand if the member ceases to be an active Firefighter, or is suspended, removed or dismissed for any cause whatsoever, or ceases to be a member of one of the fire companies.
[1972 Code § 3-4.5; Ord. No. 81-2 § 1]
The Chief of the Department and Company Captain shall have the power to suspend from duty any member or members of any company who shall refuse or voluntarily neglect to obey or execute any orders from the officer in charge of any fire or drill, or who shall neglect or refuse to be controlled or governed by the terms of this subsection or by any of the rules and regulations of the Department, or for the good of the Department. Upon suspension of any member of any company, the Chief or Captain shall forthwith submit the suspension together with the causes thereof in writing to the Board of Fire Officers. Following receipt of the notice, the Board of Fire Officers shall hold a hearing thereon within ten (10) days, giving to the suspended member at least four (4) days written notice, which notice shall set forth the cause for suspension. Notice of the hearing shall likewise be given to the complaining member. The Chief, Captain, and any complaining officer shall disqualify themselves from suspension hearings. At the hearing the Board shall either affirm, reverse or modify the suspension, which affirmation, reversal or modification shall be by a majority of the qualified members of the Board. If any member of any company shall be suspended from duty by the Board of Fire Officers, he can appeal to the Council of the municipality by filing a written appeal with the Municipal Clerk within seven (7) days after the decision of the Board of Fire Officers. The appeal shall state the reasons therefor and specify the particulars in which the Board of Fire Officers have erred. The Council shall hold a hearing thereon within thirty (30) days of the filing of the appeal with the Municipal Clerk, who shall give at least seven (7) days written notice of the hearing to the Chief, the Captain, and to the complaining and suspended members. Any party to the appeal, in any instance, may be represented by counsel. At the hearing before the Council, the appellant shall have the duty to proceed first with his proof. After the hearing before the Council, the Council may affirm, reverse or modify any suspension or decision appealed. Council shall provide an attorney for the Chief, Captain, and complaining officer.
[1972 Code § 3-4.6]
A certificate of exemption shall be issued by the Council to any member of the Fire Department who has served as an active Firefighter for seven (7) years under municipal control pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-55 et seq. The Secretary and Captain of the company to which the member belongs shall certify in writing to the Council the qualifications of the member to be complete in accordance with this subsection and the laws of the State of New Jersey.
[1972 Code § 3-4.7]
Any member of the Fire Department who ceases to be a resident of the Borough and has failed to meet the requirements of Section 3-5 below, at the option of his respective company, may be dropped from the rolls of the Fire Department and the membership roll of his company, unless placed on the inactive roll of his company. Moreover, any regularly enrolled member of the Department who is a nonresident at the time aforesaid may retain his active status. Further, members may be given a leave of absence for military duty with the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
[1972 Code § 3-4.8]
Every person seeking to resign from the Fire Department shall make application to his company, and his resignation shall take effect upon approval by the vote of the majority of the members present and voting, and the confirmation of the Chief and the Council.
[1972 Code § 3-5; Ord. No. 81-8 § II]
All present members and any person who may become a member of the municipal Fire Department shall be required as an integral part of their membership, in addition to the duties established by rule or custom, actively attend and participate in all parades, social functions, affairs, special events, and any and all other types of activities of the municipality not specifically enumerated, whenever the participation by the Fire Department in these events or activities shall be ordered by the Fire Chief or the officers of the Department as the case may be. Failure of any member to attend and participate in an event or activity shall subject the member to disciplinary action for failure to conform to other duties herein, unless the member shall be duly excused from participation. Each active member of the Fire Department shall perform at least sixty (60%) percent duty.
Sixty (60%) percent duty shall be determined by a point system. Credit shall be assigned for participation in Fire Department activities in accordance with the following schedule:
Participation during alarms of fire and similar emergencies, one (1) point.
Participation in Fire Department drills, one (1) point.
Participation in the Fire Company drills, one (1) point.
Percentage of duty shall be determined by dividing the total number of points earned by each man by the total number of fire alarm received during the year.
Any member who performs less than thirty (30%) percent duty for one (1) year shall be ordered to appear before the Board of Fire Officers to account for his performance. Any member who for two (2) consecutive years performs less than thirty (30%) percent duty shall be ordered to appear before the Board of Fire Officers to show cause why he should not be automatically dropped from the membership rolls of the Fire Department.
[1972 Code § 3-6]
Only active Firefighters with sixty (60%) percent duty shall be permitted to vote for Department Chief, Assistant Chiefs or company firematic officers and company representation for the Board of Fire Officers.
At least thirty (30) days before the annual election, the firematic line officers of each company shall submit in writing to the Municipal Clerk a list showing the membership of active Firefighters and a certificate certifying which members are in good standing as to attendance at fires, drills, etc. Voting shall be restricted only to those members whose names appear on the list of certification.
[1972 Code § 3-7.1; amended 8-15-2018 by Ord. No. 18-26]
Annual elections for Fire Department Officers shall be held in December. The Mayor and Public Safety Committee Chair shall preside at the elections. Where any office is contested, the election shall be by secret ballot. The Chief and Assistant Chiefs of the Fire Department shall be elected by the Department, provided that the three Assistant Chiefs shall be elected, one from each volunteer fire company, who shall be permanent residents of the Borough of Woodland Park. Captains, First Lieutenants and Second Lieutenants shall be elected by their respective companies. The results of the elections shall be certified to the Council at the next following regular meeting of the Council for approval of the election results by a majority of the Council present at the meeting. No person who has not served as a Captain or Lieutenant for a period of at least one year with 60% duty shall be eligible for the office of Assistant Chief. No person who has not served for a period of at least one year with 60% duty as an Assistant Chief shall be eligible for the office of Chief. Additionally, a candidate for the office of Chief shall have performed not less than 60% duty for the three years immediately preceding his election.
[1972 § 3-7.2]
In additions to the annual elections, special elections will be held within thirty (30) days of a vacancy.
[1972 Code § 3-7.3]
The Chief of the Department shall hold office for three (3) years and the Assistant Chiefs for three (3) years and until their successors shall be chosen. The term shall begin on the first day of January. Vacancies shall be filled within thirty (30) days for the unexpired term only, by special election of the Fire Department.
At each annual election, the Department shall elect one (1) Assistant Chief for the longest term provided not exceeding three (3) years.
[1972 Code § 3-7.4; Ord. No. 76-3 § I; Ord. No. 81-2 § III]
The Chief of the Fire Department shall:
Have full and complete control at all fires, being held accountable for his actions to the Council only, and make written and verbal reports as the Council may require. All other Departmental officers shall be accountable to the Chief, or such officer as shall be acting as Chief in his absence, and to the Council.
Formulate rules and regulations to govern the Department subject to approval of the Council, and be responsible to the Council for the personnel, morale and general efficiency of the Department.
At least once a month conduct suitable drills or instructions in the operation and handling of equipment, first aid and rescue work, salvage, a study of buildings in the central business district, fire prevention, water supply, and all other matters generally considered essential to good firemanship and safety of life and property from fires.
Assist the proper authorities in suppressing the crime of arson by investigating or causing to be investigated the crime, origin, and circumstances of all fire of questionable origin.
Enter any and all buildings and premises at any reasonable time for the purpose of making a fire inspection and serve written notice upon the owner or occupant to abate, within a specified time after receipt of written notice, any and all fire hazards that may be found. The inspector, if other than the Chief, shall be approved by proper resolution of the Mayor and Council.
In the absence or disability of the Chief, the Assistant Chief who is senior in length of service as an Assistant Chief shall perform the duties of the Chief at all fires and emergencies.
It shall be the duty of the Chief and the other officers and members of the Fire Department to enforce the provisions of the Fire Prevention Code of the municipality and the amendments and supplements thereof, and any other municipal ordinance or Federal, State, and County law having to do with fire prevention, safety and control.
[1972 Code § 3-8.1]
The Council shall have the authority to lease or purchase adequate housing facilities for all municipally-owned fire apparatus, equipment, supplies and furnishings for the Fire Department. They shall also have the right, when it shall be deemed necessary, to hire a full or part-time maintenance man to care for and maintain fire apparatus, equipment and buildings used by the Department.
The Department shall be equipped with apparatus and other equipment as may be required from time to time to maintain its efficiency and properly protect life and property from fire.
Recommendations for apparatus and equipment needed shall be made by the Chief to the Council. Purchases of apparatus and equipment shall be made only by the Council at such time and manner as they shall determine.
[1972 Code § 3-8.2]
No person shall use any municipally-owned fire apparatus or equipment for any private purpose, nor shall any person willfully and without authority take away or conceal any article belonging to or used in any way by the Department.
No person shall enter any place where fire apparatus is housed, nor handle any equipment, property or apparatus belonging to the Department unless accompanied by or having the special permission of an officer or authorized member of the Department.
The Chief or the Fire Department is hereby authorized to extend aid to neighborhood communities upon request for fire protection or to establish a mutual aid system in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey.
No apparatus shall be removed from or permitted to leave the municipality without the consent of the Chief or the next highest ranking officer available. The officer in charge of the Department shall have the power to assign the equipment for response to calls for outside aid in accordance with this paragraph, and in other cases only when the absence of equipment, in his judgment, will not jeopardize protection in the municipality.
[1972 Code § 3-9]
The government and management of the Fire Department shall be according to the constitution bylaws and rules which may be adopted by the Department and individual companies and approved by the Council, provided the same shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter and rules and regulations for the organization and efficiency of the Fire Department which may be adopted from time to time by the Council.
[1972 Code § 3-10]
The officers and members of the Fire Department of the municipality shall at all times be subject to and under the control of any rules and regulations as the Council may from time to time adopt.