[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Mendham 11-4-1974 as Ch. 14 of the 1974 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 7-5-2005 by Ord. No. 25-05]
The Fire Department of the Borough of Mendham shall consist of a Fire Chief, a Deputy Chief of the fire company, First Assistant Chief and a Second Assistant Chief, and such fire fighters as now are or may hereafter be appointed by the Council. They shall be organized in as many companies as may be necessary.
A minimum of two of the officers must be residents of the Borough of Mendham, provided that an officer who is not a resident must live within a ten-mile radius of the boundary of the Borough of Mendham, unless such requirement is waived by the Borough Council. The Public Safety Committee shall consider all requests for waivers and, upon review, shall submit a recommendation to the Borough Council for approval or denial of the request.
Within five days of a change in the address of any officer of the Fire Department, the officer shall notify the Secretary of the Fire Department of the change in address. The Secretary of the Fire Department shall, within five days thereafter, notify the Borough Clerk of the change in address.
The Fire Chief shall be appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and counsel of the Borough Council, in accordance with the law governing the borough form of government, and the appointment of the Fire Chief shall be for a period of one year on January 1 of each year or for the expiration of a year in the event that the appointment is made after January 1. The Deputy Chief of the company shall be elected by the members thereof and shall hold office for a term of one year. The First Assistant Chief and Second Assistant Chief shall be elected by the members of the company and shall serve one year.
[Amended 7-5-2005 by Ord. No. 25-05; 9-6-2016 by Ord. No. 13-16]
The duty of the Fire Chief shall be to superintend the extinguishment of fires and any other emergencies where Fire Department resources are required in the majority. The Fire Chief is authorized to enter property, order evacuation, establish fire lines and prevent access as necessary or appropriate in the interest of public safety during an emergency, and to preserve order at fires with power to arrest any disorderly person while in performance of such duties.
The Chief shall be over 18 years of age and shall be selected from the company or companies to be organized under this chapter, and shall be qualified for fire service command as prescribed by regulation and generally accepted standards.
The Fire Chief shall report all fires each month to the Borough Council. The Fire Chief shall examine all fire apparatus, hose, hydrants, hose carriage and all other fire apparatus and report to the Council the result of such examinations. These examinations shall be made at least every two months and oftener if necessary. He or she shall report for repair any apparatus which is unfit for use. The Fire Chief shall further have the power in cases of fire threatening damage to property within the borough to use the means of the Department to extinguish the same and at times of fire alarm shall have sole and absolute control and command over all the fire apparatus within the borough. He or she shall be furnished with a badge of office at the expense of the borough, which badge he or she shall display in plain view while in charge of any fire or in the performance of any other of his or her duties as Chief.
[Amended 7-5-2005 by Ord. No. 25-05; 9-6-2016 by Ord. No. 13-16]
The Chief shall publish the protocol for succession of command from among the active qualified members. In the absence of the Chief, authority for command and control of fire service resources shall accrue to the designated Incident Commander according to the protocol. The designated Incident Commander is authorized to appoint qualified members of the mutual aid companies to subordinate command roles in the incident command structure. The designated Incident Command Officer and all qualified members of the mutual aid companies appointed to subordinate command roles shall be at least 18 years of age.
The members of the company or companies shall be able-bodied persons 18 years of age and upwards. They shall be elected by the members of the company or companies, but their election shall not be valid until approved by the Council of the Borough of Mendham, and they may be expelled by said Council for the nonpayment of dues or the violation of any regulation contained herein or set forth in the bylaws of the company.
[Amended 5-16-1988 by Ord. No. 8-88]
The first company organized under this chapter shall consist of not more than 50 members and shall be called the "Mendham Hose Company," and all members now in good standing in the company already organized in the Borough of Mendham by that name shall constitute the Mendham Hose Company without any further appointment by the Council of the Borough of Mendham. A list of members in good standing shall be filed with the Borough Clerk under the hand and seal of the Secretary of said fire company. All members of the company shall promise to perform all the duties of a fire fighter in the extinguishment of fires and such other duties as may appertain to the same.
All applicants for membership in the Fire Department of the Borough of Mendham and any additional fire companies which may hereafter be established, shall be required to submit to criminal history checks prior to commencing service with the Fire Department in accordance with Chapter 10, Criminal History Checks, prior to commencing service.
[Added 12-15-2003 by Ord. No. 22-2003]
Every member of the Fire Department shall receive a certificate of membership duly executed and signed by the Borough Clerk and Fire Chief. He or she shall also receive a metallic badge upon the terms and conditions hereinafter specified. The certificates of membership shall be furnished to the Fire Chief by the Borough Clerk and shall be delivered by the Fire Chief to the persons entitled to receive the same upon application made to him or her.
The commencement of the term of service of each person elected by said company and ratified by the Council as a member of the Fire Department shall be computed from the date of such election and ratification.
[Amended 9-6-2016 by Ord. No. 13-16]
The members of the company, and members from any company called to respond, pursuant to an existing mutual aid agreement with the Borough, upon an alarm of fire, shall immediately report to the place indicated and remain there under the command of the Chief or Deputy Chief as heretofore set forth and shall not leave said premises until permission is granted by the Chief or other person in command. Outside of a mutual aid request, no fire company shall leave the Borough with the fire apparatus without permission of the Borough Council. All members upon alarm of fire must report to the place of alarm and there assist under orders of the officers of the company in extinguishing the fire. In addition, the members of the company are authorized to comply with appropriate requests for response from other agencies pursuant to a mutual aid agreement with the Borough.