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Township of Lebanon, NJ
Hunterdon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Lebanon as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Police Department — See Ch. 77.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 214.
[Adopted 12-5-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-14]
The Lebanon Township Volunteer Fire Department ("LTVFD") was heretofore created and established and is hereby continued and recognized.
[Amended 7-7-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-09]
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:14-68, the Township of Lebanon hereby approves and authorizes the execution of all necessary agreements with the LTVFD to provide fire services to the citizens and residents of the Township for the purpose of extinguishing all fires within the Township. The LTVFD is hereby designated as the entity responsible for providing all fire services and extinguishing all fires within the Township of Lebanon. The Township of Lebanon hereby further approves and authorizes the LTVFD to provide all ambulance services and first aid services in the Township of Lebanon as the first responder for such services, subject to such mutual aid, agreements, as may be applicable, from other municipalities’ rescue squads, ambulance squads, first aid squads and/or fire departments and/or as well other Township of Lebanon designated ambulance services/first aid service/rescue service providers, who provide such services without mutual aid, as described above, but by Township Committee designation. No other organization or entity shall be designated to provide such services for the Township of Lebanon unless duly approved and authorized by the Township Committee of the Township of Lebanon.
Membership in the LTVFD shall be in accordance with this article and the constitution, rules and bylaws of the LTVFD, including any and all amendments to those documents. Membership shall be open to all persons who are able to perform firefighter duties and to meet the criteria set forth in this article, without discrimination on the basis of an applicant's race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status or physical handicap.
A. 
In the event of any inconsistency between the provisions of this article and any other document related to the LTVFD, this article shall take precedence and govern over such other inconsistent document(s).
B. 
The LTVFD and each member of the LTVFD shall comply with all applicable federal and state, county and local guidelines, rules and regulations governing the operation of the fire department and the deployment of personnel and equipment.
No applicant shall be eligible to become a member of the LTVFD unless such person shall possess the following qualifications:
A. 
Completes the application process, including executing an authorization and consent to conduct a criminal history record background check, as more specifically set forth in § 35-7 below;
B. 
Be at least 14 years of age;
C. 
Be a citizen of the United States;
D. 
Be able to read, write and speak the English language;
E. 
Holds a valid driver's license;
F. 
Is physically fit and able to perform the duties of a firefighter, submits to a medical examination by a physician on behalf of the Township (to be paid for by the Township) and produces evidence in the form of a medical certification signed by a licensed physician.
Each applicant for membership in the LTVFD shall make application to the LTVFD on forms to be provided by the Fire Department. The applications are available in the office to the Township Clerk. As part of the application process, each applicant shall execute an authorization and consent to conduct a criminal history record background check and each applicant shall submit to being fingerprinted.
A. 
For purposes of this article, a "criminal history record background check" means a determination of whether a person has a criminal record by cross-referencing that person's name and fingerprints with those on file with the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
B. 
The Township requires that, as a condition of membership with the LTVFD, all prospective members shall submit to being fingerprinted in accordance with applicable state, federal, county and local laws, rules and regulations, as a condition membership with the LTVFD.
C. 
As a further condition of membership with the LTVFD, all prospective members shall authorize the Township, through its duly authorized representative, to exchange fingerprint data with and receive criminal history record information from the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
D. 
In order to obtain criminal history record information pursuant to this article and N.J.S.A. 40:48-1.4, the Township shall submit the fingerprint data for prospective members of the LTVFD to the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police. The State Bureau of Identification shall receive all criminal history record information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and shall disseminate that information to the Township.
E. 
The Township shall conduct a criminal history record background check of a prospective member of the LTVFD only upon receipt of the written authorization and consent to the criminal history background check from the prospective member. A form for the authorization and consent to said background check shall be provided to each prospective member along with the application for membership with the LTVFD. Failure to submit a fully signed and witnessed written authorization and consent form shall be grounds to reject an application for membership with the LTVFD.
F. 
The Township shall bear the costs associated with conducting criminal history record background checks.
G. 
An individual shall be disqualified from serving as a member of the LTVFD if that prospective member's criminal history record background check reveals a record of conviction of any of the following crimes and/or offenses:
(1) 
In New Jersey, any crime or disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense:
(a) 
Involving danger to the person, including, but not limited to those crimes, disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly offenses set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1 et. seq.; N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 et. seq.; N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1 et. seq.; N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1 et. seq.; and/or, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 et. seq.;
(b) 
Against the family, children or incompetents, including, but not limited to those crimes and disorderly persons offenses set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:24-1 et. seq.;
(c) 
Involving arson, burglary or theft as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1 et. seq.; N.J.S.A. 2C: 18-1 et. seq., and/or N.J.S.A. 2C: 20-1 et. seq.;
(d) 
Involving offenses against public administration, perjury and other falsification in official matters, obstructing governmental operations, misconduct in office and/or abuse of office as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:27-1 et. seq.; N.J.S.A. 2C:28-1 et. seq.; N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1 et. seq.; or, N.J.S.A. 2C:30-1 et. seq.;
(e) 
Involving any controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog as set forth in Chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statues; or,
(f) 
Involving operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated in violation of Chapter 4 of Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes.
(2) 
In any other state or jurisdiction, conduct which, if committed in New Jersey, would constitute any of the crimes, disorderly persons offenses or petty disorderly persons offenses described herein.
H. 
All prospective members, upon receiving a conditional offer of membership with the LTVFD, shall submit his or her name, address, fingerprints and written consent to the Township for the criminal history record background check to be performed. All conditional offers of membership with the LTVFD shall be specifically subject to the prospective member passing the criminal history record background check, along with any other requirements as provided by law and/or requested by the Township.
I. 
Access to criminal history record background information of prospective members of the LTVFD obtained under this article is restricted to authorized personnel of the Township on a need-to-know basis, as may be authorized by federal or state statute, rule or regulation, executive order, administrative code, this article and/or resolution regarding obtaining and dissemination of criminal history record background information. Said employees are the Township Administrator, Police Chief, Mayor, Township Attorney and Township Labor Counsel and those other employees specifically designated in writing by the Mayor.
J. 
Criminal history record background information shall not be disseminated to persons or organizations not authorized to receive the records for authorized purposes. Use of this record shall be limited solely to the authorized purpose for which it was given and it shall not be disseminated to any unauthorized persons. Said records are not public records under the Open Public Records Act.
K. 
An applicant for a position as a volunteer for the Lebanon Township Volunteer Fire Department whose criminal history background check demonstrates a disqualifying conviction enumerated in § 35-7G(1) or G(2) of the Township Code may apply to the Lebanon Township Committee for a waiver of the disqualifying effect of such enumerated conviction in accordance with this section.
[Added 8-19-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02]
(1) 
No waiver of a disqualifying conviction which is a third degree crime or above, or the equivalent thereof, may be granted by the Township Committee if such disqualifying conviction cannot be waived for purposes of public employment pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:51-2 or expunged pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(b); however, if such record of conviction is expunged pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(b) or an equivalent therefor, then the Township Committee shall be permitted to grant the waiver thereof, in its sole discretion.
(2) 
A waiver of a disqualifying conviction which is a fourth degree crime shall not be granted if the conviction involved a forfeiture of or bar from future public employment under any provision of state law or equivalent thereof; however, if such record of conviction is expunged pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(b) or an equivalent thereof, then the Township Committee shall be permitted to grant the waiver thereof, in its sole discretion.
(3) 
A waiver of a disqualifying conviction which is a disorderly or petty disorderly conviction shall not be granted if the conviction involved a forfeiture of or bar from future public employment under any provision of state law or the equivalent thereof; however, if such record of conviction is expunged pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(b) or an equivalent thereof, or if the court which imposed the conviction thereof grants an application for relief from the effect thereof on public employment or service, then the Township Committee shall be permitted to grant the waiver thereof, in its sole discretion.
(4) 
A waiver of a disqualifying conviction which is an ordinance violation may be waived by the Township Committee in its sole discretion, so long as the conviction did not involve an act involving theft, lewdness or violence against another person.
(5) 
No waiver may be granted if the underlying conviction is a disqualifying event under N.J.S.A. 40:48-1.4 and has not been expunged by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(6) 
All waiver applications shall be made in writing, stating the disqualifying event, the applicant’s rehabilitation therefrom and the reason the waiver should be granted.
(7) 
An expungement of any conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction shall be prima facie evidence of rehabilitation.
(8) 
All hearings by the Township Committee shall be conducted in executive session unless the applicant notifies the Township Clerk within seven calendar days of said hearing that they desire the matter to be heard in public session. To the extent permitted by law, the record of such hearing shall be a confidential personnel record and not subject to disclosure under the Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1, et. seq. Two members of the Fire Department Membership Committee shall sit in on any hearings on behalf of the Department but shall not have a vote.
The LTVFD may be disbanded in the following manner:
A. 
Upon the written request to the Township Committee of a majority of the duly qualified members of the LTVFD, said LTVFD may be disbanded by order of the Mayor and Township Committee; or,
B. 
Should the Township Committee consider at any time that the interests of the Township will be best served by the disbandment of the LTVFD, either for neglect of duty or disobedience of orders or for any other cause or in the interest of economy or efficiency, they may do so at any regular meeting by a majority vote of the full membership of the Township Committee, 30 calendar days' notice having previously been given to the Secretary of the LTVFD and the members of the Township Committee.
[Adopted 10-5-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-07]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COSTS
All costs incurred by the Township or Department, including but not limited to the following: actual labor costs of personnel, including workers' compensation benefits, fringe benefits and administrative overhead; cost of equipment operation; cost of materials; and the cost of any outside contract for labor and materials.
DEPARTMENT
The Lebanon Township Volunteer Fire Department
DISCHARGE
Any intentional or unintentional action or omission resulting in the releasing, spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying or dumping of any hazardous substance into the water, onto the land, or into the air.
HAZARDOUS ABATEMENT INCIDENT
Any incident where there is a discharge of a hazardous substance or petroleum product.
HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE
Any and all elements and compounds, including petroleum products, which are defined as such by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection or as are defined in the N.F.P.A. Guide of Hazardous Materials, or as are set forth in the list of hazardous substances adopted by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, or as are defined on the list of toxic pollutants designated by Congress or the Environmental Protection Agency.
MATERIALS
All materials, including but not limited to firefighting foam, chemical extinguishing agents, absorbent material, sand recovery drums, and specialized protective equipment such as acid suits, acid gloves, goggles and protective clothing.
PERSON
Any public or private corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership, joint stock company, individual, or other entity.
PETROLEUM PRODUCT
Oil or petroleum of any kind and in any form, including but not limited to oil, petroleum, gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil, oil sludge, oil refuse, oil mixed with other wastes, crude oils and substantives or additives utilized in the refining or blending of crude, petroleum or petroleum stock.
The governing body of the Township of Lebanon authorizes the Department to recover the costs of firefighting materials used and expended; the costs of the use of the fire trucks, fire engines, rescue equipment, and tankers; the costs of personnel hours and hazardous situation abatement materials involved in any hazardous abatement incident.
Below is a schedule of fees and costs to be charged and invoiced by the Department to any person or their insurance carrier for whom or for whose property such services were rendered and/or materials provided.
Type of Incident
Description
Fee
Vehicle incidents
Any hazardous abatement incident involving a vehicle substantial enough to cause the Department to use tools and skill (or extinguishing agent) to bring the incident under control.
$750 per vehicle.
Hazardous substance discharge
Intentional or unintentional discharge of a hazardous substance as defined herein; which includes, but is not limited to, hazardous materials fires.
Actual costs incurred and an hourly rate (not in excess of $50 per hour) for all personnel involved in the response.
Reimbursement to the Department as hereinbefore indicated shall be made by:
A. 
The owner or operator of the vehicle responsible for hazardous material fire or discharge of hazardous material;
B. 
Any person who causes, by act or omission, or is otherwise responsible for, a discharge of any hazardous substance which is cleaned up or abated by the Department, including the owner of real or personal property from which a discharge of hazardous substance occurs, shall be liable for the payment of all costs incurred by the Department as a result of such clean up or abatement, including but not limited to, all costs for services rendered by any recovery company, towing company or such other technical assistance called for by the Department to handle such incident;
C. 
The owner or person responsible for the vessel containing the hazardous material involved in such fire or discharge, whether stationary or in transit, and whether accidental or negligent;
D. 
The owner or person responsible for any property from which any discharge of hazardous material emanates, whether accidental or through negligence; and
E. 
The person responsible for the hazardous material fire, leak or spill, whether accidental or through negligence.
The Department is hereby authorized to bill and collect costs due to it under this chapter through a third party billing agent, provided that any such agreement with any professional agency engaged in the business of emergency response billing shall be subject to the approval of the Township Committee.
Said costs and fees as outlined above and as set forth on the schedule of fees and costs herein shall be recovered directly by the Department, or through a third party professional agency engaged in the business of emergency response billing under a contract with the Department, by billing to the responsible party.
In addition to the aforementioned fees and costs, the Department is hereby authorized to collect reasonable interest and administration fees for the collection of the fees and costs due and owing from the insurance companies or responsible parties for the services rendered and/or materials provided.
The Department shall provide a monthly report to the Township Committee detailing all billing and receipts under this chapter.
Any person or entity responsible for any vehicle fire or discharge of hazardous materials shall reimburse the Department pursuant to the schedule of fees hereunder, or provide proof that they have submitted a claim to their insurance carrier for payment within 45 days after receipt of a statement from the Department outlining said costs and expenses. These provisions shall be subject to the following:
A. 
Persons receiving services from the Department shall cooperate with the Department or other billing personnel hired by the Department to secure full payment for services rendered from any necessary insurance carrier.
B. 
Due to anticipated time requirements for the preparation and processing of insurance claims, parties that have provided proof of a claim to their insurance carrier shall not be charged interest or be subject to penalties hereunder.
C. 
Responsible parties under this chapter shall ensure that the Department is authorized to receive any payments from an insurance carrier as required by this chapter.
D. 
The Department reserves the right to determine that a bill is uncollectable by reason of unavailability of insurance coverage and be written off.