[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Woodruff as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I General Provisions
Article II Volunteer Fire Department Fund
[Adopted 2-11-1986 as §§ 5.01 to 5.06 of the 1986 Code]
The volunteer members of the Volunteer Fire Department are hereby officially recognized as the Fire Department of the Town, and duty of fire fighting and the prevention of fires in the Town is delegated to such Department. Its organization and internal regulation shall be governed by the provisions of this article and by such bylaws adopted by the Department as are approved by the Town Board, except as is otherwise provided by law and ordinance.
The Town Fire Department is hereby authorized and directed to adopt bylaws for the control, management, government and regulation of business and proceedings of the Department, which bylaws, after adoption by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Department, shall not become effective and operative until presented to and approved by the Town Board. Amendments shall be adopted in the same manner.
The Town Board shall appropriate funds to provide for operation and for such apparatus and equipment for the use of the Fire Department as it may deem expedient and necessary to maintain efficiency and properly protect life and property from fire.
Membership. The Fire Department shall consist of the following officers: a Chief and Assistant Chief and a Secretary-Treasurer, together with one master mechanic or engineer and as many drivers and firemen who live or normally work within the Town as may be appointed by the Chief and approved by the Town Board.
A vacancy in the office of the Chief shall be filled by an election of a majority vote of the members of the Fire Department. Upon creation of a vacancy of the office of Chief, the ranking officer shall perform the duties of the Chief until such vacancy has been filled. The Town Board may allow the members of the Fire Department to choose their own Chief provided that he is approved by the Town Board.
The Chief shall immediately resume office and shall hold office until removed for cause after a hearing by action of all of the members of the Town Board, unless his services are sooner terminated by resignation, change of residence to outside of the Town limits or death.
No member of the Department shall be eligible for the office of Chief or Assistant Chief who does not live in the Town and who has not been a member of the Department for at least one year.
Any person desiring to be a member of the Fire Department may file with the Secretary-Treasurer an application in such form as the Town Board may require. Each applicant shall also file a certificate of physical fitness from such physician as the Chief may designate. The name of any applicant approved by the Chief as provided in the bylaws shall be presented to the Town Board for confirmation.
All resignations from the Department shall take the same course as applications for and appointments to membership.
Any member or officer of the Department who has been expelled or demoted for any offense or neglect of duty or insubordination shall have the right to appear before the members of the Town Board and state why such penalty should not be confirmed. The Town Board may, by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Town Board, order the Chief to reinstate the member or officer. The Secretary-Treasurer shall report the name of each person expelled or demoted to the Town Board.
The Department shall organize into one or, at the option of the Chief, into two or more companies. The Chief may at any time make transfers which he deems necessary between companies.
Each of the companies of the Department shall be in the charge of an Assistant Chief or, in his absence, a captain or lieutenant who shall be responsible to the Chief.
Officers. The election of the Secretary-Treasurer and such social officers as the bylaws may require shall be held at the annual meeting of the Department in such manner as is provided in the bylaws. In case of any vacancy the Chief shall appoint a member in good standing to fill the office until the next annual meeting and election.
The Chief shall have general supervision of the Department, subject to this article and the bylaws of the Department, and shall be responsible for the personnel and general efficiency of the Department.
The Chief shall preside at all meetings of the Department, call special meetings, prescribe order, decide all points of order that may arise and enforce a rigid observance of this article and the bylaws. The Chief shall have the right to appoint a Chairperson to preside at meetings of the Department in the place and stead of the Chief.
The Chief shall be present at all fires, if possible, have complete command of and entire responsibility for all fire-fighting operations, plan the control of the same, direct the action of the companies when they arrive at a fire, observe that every company does its duty, grant leaves of absence at a fire when he may deem it proper and see that the fire apparatus is kept in proper condition at all times.
The Chief shall have the power to demote or expel any officer or member of the Department for neglect or refusal to perform his departmental duties, such demotion or expulsion to be subject to an appeal to the Town Board.
Not later than September 1 of each year, the Chief shall file with the Town Clerk a detailed estimate of the appropriations needed for the conduct of the Department during the ensuing fiscal year.
The Chief shall submit a written report to the Town Board each year relating to the condition of the various pieces of apparatus and appurtenances, the number of fires occurring since the previous report, the date of the same and loss occasioned thereby, the number of members of each company, the total number of active members in the Department and resignations and expulsions from the Department. He shall also report upon the drill and training program of the Department, together with other pertinent information, including recommendations of such improvements as he deems proper and necessary for the operation of the Department.
He shall enforce all fire prevention ordinances of the Town and state laws and regulations pertaining to fire prevention and shall keep citizens informed on fire prevention methods and on the activities of the Department.
He shall keep a fire record of every fire to which any company was called and shall enter in such book the locality of the fire, time alarm was received, cause of fire, where fire started, cause of delay (if any) in responding, method of extinguishment and equipment used, amount of insurance carried on building and contents, estimated fire loss, time fire was extinguished, names of men responding and general remarks.
He shall keep an inventory of all apparatus and equipment and an inventory of all hose showing dates and results of tests on each length, which shall be individually identified.
He shall perform such other duties as are incumbent on the commanding officer of the Fire Department.
The Chief shall have control of all apparatus used by the Department and shall be responsible for its proper maintenance. Emergency repairs may be authorized by the Chief.
No apparatus shall be used for any purpose except for fire fighting within the Town limits, or in training therefor, except pursuant to an agreement approved by the Town Board, except when the Chief has given his recommendations on such use. With the approval of the Chief, such apparatus may be used for emergency purposes other than fire fighting within the Town. A written report of all such uses shall be made quarterly to the Town Board.
No person shall willfully injure in any manner any hose, hydrant or fire apparatus belonging to the Town, and no vehicle shall be driven over any unprotected hose of the Fire Department when laid down on any street, private driveway or other place, to be used at any fire or alarm of fire, without the consent of the Fire Department official in command.
The Chief and assistants or officers in command at any fire shall have full and complete police authority at fires. Any officer of the Department may cause the arrest of any person failing to give the right-of-way to the Fire Department in responding to a fire.
The Fire Chief may prescribe certain limits in the vicinity of any fire within which no persons, excepting firemen and policemen and those admitted by order of any officer of the Department, shall be permitted to come. The Chief shall have the power to cause the removal of any property whenever it becomes necessary for the preservation of such property from fire or to prevent the spreading of fire or to protect adjoining property, and during the progress of any fire he shall have the power to order the removal or destruction of any property necessary to prevent the further spread of fire. He shall also have the power to cause the removal of all wires or other facilities and the turning off of all electricity or other services where the same impedes the work of the Department during the progress of a fire.
Any fireman, while acting under the direction of the Fire Chief or other officer in command, may enter upon premises adjacent to or in the vicinity of any building or other property on fire for the purpose of extinguishing such fire, and if any person shall hinder, resist or obstruct any fireman in the discharge of his duty as herein provided, the person so offending shall be deemed guilty of resisting a fireman in the discharge of his duties.
Every person present at a fire shall be subject to the orders of the Fire Chief or officer in command and may be required to render assistance in fighting the fire or in removing or guarding property. Such officer may cause the arrest of any person refusing to obey such orders.
The Department may charge a property owner a fee for any fire call made to the owner's property. The fee shall be equal in amount to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred by the Department in extinguishing the fire.
[Adopted 2-9-2010 by Res. No. 02-2010]
The Town Board authorizes the existence of this fund and authorizes the Volunteer Fire Department to accept and collect donations, control and disbursed this fund as long as the Volunteer Fire Department is in existence.