Town of Dover, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the Town of Dover 12-15-2003 by Ord. No. 44-2003.[1]. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Police Department — See Ch. 57.
False fire alarms — See Ch. 179.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 189.
Fires, conduct at — See Ch. 193.
Hazardous materials — See Ch. 211.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 20, Fire Department, consisting of the following: Art. I, Organization and Procedures, adopted 7-27-1970 as part of Art. 16 of the 1969 Revised Ordinances, as amended; and Art. II, Mutual Aid, adopted 7-10-1990 by Ord. No. 18-1990.
[Amended 10-10-2006 by Ord. No. 29-2006; 7-26-2011 by Ord. No. 12-2011; 2-11-2013 by Ord. No. 04-2013; 9-8-2015 by Ord. No. 21-2015]

§ 20-1 Fire companies.

The Volunteer Fire Department of the Town of Dover shall consist of four companies: the Protection Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1, Dover Fire Engine Co. No. 1, Vigilant Engine Co. No. 2 and the Board of Fire Wardens.

§ 20-2 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOARD OF OFFICERS
Line officers of the Volunteer Fire Department consisting of the Chief, Deputy Chief, Truck Captain, Engine Captain, Rescue Captain and EMS Captain.
BOARD OF PAST CHIEFS
The Board of Past Chiefs will consist of all past Chiefs of the Volunteer Fire Department currently on the active roles. Any past Chief who is currently serving as a Chief or Deputy Chief cannot serve on the Board of Past Chiefs. The Board of Past Chiefs will have a chairperson and a Clerk (secretary), who will be chosen by simple majority of the total members of the Board of Past Chiefs.
GOOD STANDING
A member of the Dover Volunteer Fire Department is in good standing if the member has maintained 60% attendance comprised of fires, department drills, department memorial services, department inspection, and community events, as directed by the Board of Officers.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
Shall be appointed annually by the Chief of the Department.
NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Shall be the Board of Past Chiefs. The nominating committee shall meet in September and report to the full department meeting the last Tuesday of October, where the vote shall be held.
TRAINING COMMITTEE
The Training Committee shall consist of members appointed by the Chief of the Department.

§ 20-3 Organizations within Fire Department; number of members.

A. 
Emergency Squad. There may be formed within the Volunteer Fire Department an Emergency Squad comprised of members of the various companies of the Volunteer Fire Department. An applicant may enroll as a Dover Emergency Squad member without becoming a member of the Town's fire companies. All applicants must meet the membership requirements within the Fire Department. The scope of emergency and firematic operations of such an Emergency Squad shall, at all times, be under the jurisdiction of the Chief of the Department.
B. 
Association. There may be formed within the Volunteer Fire Department an association, comprised of the members of the various companies and squad of the Volunteer Fire Department, to be known as the "Dover Volunteer Firemen's Association."
C. 
Number of members in companies.
(1) 
Active members: The Protection Hook and Ladder Co., No. 1 shall consist of not more than 25 members; Dover Engine No. 1 shall consist of not more than 25 members; Vigilant Engine Co. No. 2 shall consist of not more than 25 members; and the Board of Fire Wardens shall consist of not more than 25 members.
(2) 
Clerk (Secretary). Each company shall annually elect one member to serve as Clerk (Secretary), who shall perform the duties hereinafter prescribed in this article.
(3) 
Chaplains. Each company of the Volunteer Fire Department may appoint a member of the company or a member of the clergy to serve as Chaplain of said company, with all the rights and privileges of an active member, except that, should the Chaplain be a member of the clergy and not an active member of the company, the Chaplain shall not have a vote or hold elective office in the company.

§ 20-4 Qualifications for membership in Fire Department.

A. 
Residency and age.
(1) 
No person shall become a member of the Fire Department unless he or she lives within three miles of the corporate border of the Town of Dover, measured as the crow flies. The applicant shall be between 18 and 45 years of age, not including the 45th birthday.
(2) 
If any Volunteer Fire Department member who has at least one full year of membership in the Town of Dover Fire Department moves his or her domicile and stays within a three-mile radius, measured as the crow flies, of the Town boundaries, upon his or her request, and upon his or her company's recommendation, such member may retain membership in the Volunteer Fire Department upon approval of the Members Company and is in good standing with the Department.
B. 
Each applicant must have a valid New Jersey driver's license or a state-issued identification card. If a member's driver's license is revoked or suspended, the member must report same to the Chief within 24 hours of such occurrence. Each applicant must be able to pass a background check
C. 
Exams. An applicant must pass a general physical examination, including a chest x-ray, within 90 days prior to confirmation as a firefighter. The cost of such physical examination and x-ray shall be paid for by the Town of Dover. The applicant shall also promise to perform the duties of a fireman as they are now or may hereafter be prescribed by law or the ordinances of the Town of Dover.
D. 
Membership in other Fire Departments.
(1) 
Any member from another fire department who wishes to become a member of the Dover Volunteer Fire Department or Rescue Squad shall be allowed to and remain a member of both Volunteer Fire Departments or Rescue Squads.
(2) 
No member of dual departments may become a chief officer of the Dover Volunteer Fire Department if he or she is chief officer in another department.

§ 20-5 Term of membership.

A. 
Any member who changes residence to a location beyond the three-mile radius limit of the Town of Dover may request a waiver of the residency requirement for a period not to exceed one year. The waiver request shall be forwarded to the Board of Officers and if the member is found to be in good standing, the residency requirement may be waived for the period requested. If the member fails to reestablish residency within the three-mile limit of the Town of Dover within the time period requested, the Chief of Department shall recommend to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen to remove the member from the rolls of the Volunteer Fire Department.
B. 
Any member with less than 10 consecutive years of active service who is not in good standing for two consecutive years shall be recommended to be removed by the Board of Officers from the rolls of the Dover Volunteer Fire Department. The member being recommended to be removed shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Past Chiefs within 10 business days of notification of their removal. The Board of Past Chiefs shall or may recommend to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen the removal of any member found to be in violation with this section.

§ 20-6 Probationary period.

Each applicant hereafter confirmed as an active Volunteer Fire Department member shall serve a probationary period of one year. Probationary period may be extended by the membership committee and/or the Board of Officers, not to exceed a total of two years. During this probationary period, the member shall be required to attend the prescribed course conducted by the Training Committee of the Volunteer Fire Department. The member must also complete and pass both the written and practical test for the State Certified Firefighter I course and squad-only members must pass the New Jersey EMT course at the direction of the Board of Officers. The membership committee shall review the progress of probationary members quarterly. Failure to comply with the applicable sections of this article will result in a recommendation to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen that the member be dropped from the rolls of the Volunteer Fire Department.

§ 20-7 Line officers.

A. 
The line officers of the Volunteer Fire Department shall consist of the Department Chief, Deputy Chief, and four Captains. All line officers shall be voted for by membership of the department at large.
B. 
No career member of the Dover Fire Department can be a line officer.
C. 
Officers seeking the positions as defined shall submit in writing and provide proof of proper training to the Chairman of the Board of Past Chiefs. This shall be completed by the last day of August.

§ 20-8 Chain of command.

In the absence of the Chief of the Department at an alarm of fire or other emergency to which the Volunteer Department has been called, the Deputy Chief shall assume command of the Department. The order of command following the Deputy Chief shall be as follows: the first Captain to respond. The most senior qualified member on scene will assume command, if no department officers responded. If an officer responds to the scene where command has been established, that officer may assume command or leave the incident commander in charge and render assistance.

§ 20-9 Qualifications for Chief Officers.

To be eligible for the office of Chief, or Deputy Chief, a member must be an active exempt firefighter in good standing and must have held the position of Captain for at least one full term prior to the date of installation. The candidate must provide certifications of New Jersey Firefighter One, New Jersey Firefighter Two, Incident Management Systems Level 3, Fire Officer One, and be knowledgeable for the Chief's position the candidate is seeking. Any past chief of the Dover Fire Department may be exempted from the New Jersey Firefighter 2 requirement.

§ 20-10 Qualifications for Captains.

The position of Captains shall be Engine Captain, Truck Captain, Rescue Captain and EMS Captain. To be eligible for the office of Captain, the member must be in good standing at the time of nomination and must have completed five years within the fire service. The candidate must provide certifications of New Jersey Firefighter One, New Jersey Firefighter Two, Incident Management Systems Level 1, Fire Officer One, and be knowledgeable for the Captain's position the candidate is running for. The EMS Captain shall possess a current EMT certification, current CPR card, and I-200 to be eligible to run for the office of EMS Captain.

§ 20-11 Terms of office.

The words "term" or "term of office" wherever appearing in this article shall mean a period of twenty-four consecutive months commencing on January 1. Such term of office is subject to an affirmative vote of the membership prior to the commencement of the second twelve months of the twenty-four-month term.

§ 20-12 Election and confirmation of officers.

A. 
Officers of the Volunteer Fire Department shall be elected by the department collectively at a meeting in October. All line officers shall be appointed by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. All candidates must meet the requirements set forth in this article.
B. 
Members of the department seeking an officer position shall submit their intention and credentials/qualifications in writing to the Nominating Committee no later than August 31. The Nominating Committee shall be the Board of Past Chiefs. The nominating committee shall meet in September and report to the full department meeting the last Tuesday of October, where the vote shall be held.
C. 
Nominations shall be accepted from the floor at the October meeting provided that all credentials/qualifications are presented at the time of nomination.

§ 20-13 Vacancy in office of Chief of Department.

If a vacancy in the office of Chief of the department should occur the Board of Past Chiefs will meet and consider recommending to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen that the Deputy Chief be elevated to the office of Chief or that a qualified past chief be selected to serve the remainder of the term. If the Deputy Chief is selected then a special meeting of the department will be held within 45 days to select a Deputy Chief in accordance with the procedures established in § 20-9 of this ordinance.

§ 20-14 Vacancy in office of Captain.

If a vacancy in the office of Captain should occur, the Board of Past Chiefs will appoint a replacement to complete the remainder of vacant term. The member appointed shall be required to meet the provisions of § 20-11 of this article.

§ 20-15 Powers, duties and responsibilities of Chief of Department.

A. 
The Chief of the Department in all cases of emergency within the Town, shall take prompt and efficient measures and use all means at the disposal of the Volunteer Fire Department to remediate same and shall at such times and on occasion of emergency have sole and absolute command over all members of the Fire Department and over all fire apparatus and persons aiding or assisting the Volunteer Fire Department in cases of all emergency to which the department has been summoned.
B. 
The Chief of the Department shall have, upon request, in all cases of actual emergency, the use of any equipment or vehicles owned by the Town and the assistance of any Town employee necessary to operate such vehicles or equipment. The Chief may also, in cases of actual emergency, employ the services of any person or equipment which the Chief deems necessary for the extinguishment of a fire or restoring the building or area to a safe condition.
C. 
The Chief of the Department shall cause to be examined daily the fire apparatus, hose and equipment and shall keep a record of such examinations, noting any unusual conditions.
D. 
The Chief of the Department shall order all ordinary and necessary repairs to the fire apparatus and other fire equipment consistent with the Local Public Contracts Law and the Town's Purchasing Manual.
E. 
The Chief of the Department shall keep an accurate record with the names of the officers and members of the Volunteer Fire Department and of all appointments, transfers, resignations and removals of volunteer firefighters, as the same shall take place from time to time. Such record shall exhibit the names of the volunteer firefighters belonging to each company, the commencement of their term of service and such other particulars as may be necessary and proper.
F. 
The Chief of the Department shall keep a record of all emergencies which may occur within the Town of Dover, with the cause thereof whenever the same can be ascertained, together with a description of the building or buildings damaged or destroyed, the names of the owner or owners and occupants thereof, the amount of loss in each case and also the amount of insurance, if any, as can be ascertained on careful and diligent inquiry. The Chief of the Department shall also keep a record of all the members who attend each fire or answer to the alarm thereof, as reported by the officer in charge. The Chief of the Department shall also keep a record of all violations of the Town's ordinance dealing with the Volunteer Fire Department and the prevention and extinguishment of fires which may come to his knowledge and shall, without delay, report such violations to the Town Administrator.
G. 
The Chief of the Department shall schedule a meeting of the Board of Officers in each of the calendar months. The date of such meeting shall be posted on the departmental bulletin board.
H. 
The Chief of the Department may, from time to time, issue such general or emergency orders as deemed necessary. These orders shall be posted on the departmental bulletin board with the effective date for each order.
I. 
It shall be the responsibility of the Chief of the Department, upon assuming office, to post a list of all officers and relief drivers on the departmental bulletin board.
J. 
In the event of a planned absence of the Board of Officers from the corporate limits of the Town, the Chief shall designate, in a general order, the member or members to be in charge of the Department during the absence of the Board of Officers and notify the Town Administrator of same.
K. 
The Chief of the Fire Department shall be in charge of all day to day operations for the volunteer division and the uniformed fire department.

§ 20-16 Powers, duties and responsibilities of the Captains of Department.

A. 
Captain. It shall be the duty of each Captain to respond to alarms of emergency and report to the Chief of the Department or officer in charge of the fire or emergency. Each Captain shall carry out, or cause to be carried out, all orders given by superior officers. Captains shall report in writing to the Chief of the Department any loss, damage or malfunction of the apparatus or equipment assigned to the respective Captain. At the termination of the fire or emergency, each Captain shall supervise the necessary maintenance to restore the apparatus to readiness. Each Captain shall preserve order and discipline in the department at all times and shall assume command at an alarm of fire or emergency as provided in § 20-9. A Captain shall perform such other duties as assigned by the Board of Officers.

§ 20-17 Powers and duties of company Clerk (Secretary).

A. 
The Clerk (Secretary) of each company shall keep a record of the proceedings of the company. Each Clerk shall also keep a record of all appointments, resignations or removal of firefighters attached to such company and report such actions, in writing, promptly to the Chief of Department.
B. 
The Clerk shall make such reports to the Board of Officers as may be requested from time to time by the Chief of Department.

§ 20-18 Powers and duties of all firefighters.

A. 
It shall be the duty of every member of the Volunteer Fire Department to respond to each alarm of fire or emergency within the Town.
B. 
Each volunteer firefighter shall perform such duties as may be ordered by the Board of Officers and shall at all times work to the best of his or her skill and ability to protect life and property at the scene of the fire or emergency.
C. 
No volunteer firefighter shall be released from duty at an alarm of fire or emergency until all apparatus is back in service at the fire headquarters or at the discretion of the officer in charge of the incident.
D. 
It shall be the duty of every volunteer firefighter to attend all drills or training sessions called by the Training Committee.
E. 
It shall be the duty of all volunteer firefighters at all times to observe and abide by the general orders that may be issued from time to time by the Chief of the Department.
F. 
Each volunteer firefighter shall complete any training that may be required by the State of New Jersey.
G. 
Resignations should be submitted to the Chief of the department when a member is resigning from the department.
H. 
It is the duty of each member to return all Town and association issued property within 10 days of termination from the department.

§ 20-19 Annual inspection.

It shall be the duty of each member of the Volunteer Fire Department to be present in full dress uniform and stand inspection on the second Saturday of October each year at the call of the Chief of Department. This inspection shall be held at fire headquarters.

§ 20-20 Duty uniforms.

A. 
Each member of the Board of Officers shall wear an approved protective helmet, white in color. The frontal piece of the helmet shall bear the word "Chief" in prominent letters. In the center of the frontal piece of the helmet shall be a gold-colored Chief's emblem badge designating his or her position as Chief or Deputy Chief.
B. 
Each Captain shall wear a helmet frontal, red in color. The frontal piece of the helmet shall have white lettering in color and bear the word "Captain" in prominent letters in addition to the name of Truck, Engine, and Rescue Captain. The EMS Captain shall have a helmet to be blue in color with a red frontal piece with white lettering bearing the word "Captain."
C. 
Except as specified in this article, all members shall wear approved and required personal protective equipment at the scene of any incident.

§ 20-21 Badges.

Badges bearing the words "Dover Fire Department" and bearing distinctive numbers shall be provided for each member of the Volunteer Fire Department. Badges will be issued by the Chief of Department and it shall be his responsibility to see that badges are returned within 10 days following the resignation or removal of a member. Badges shall be worn on the left breast of the dress uniform as specified by the regulations for wearing of uniforms of the Dover Volunteer Firemen's Association.

§ 20-22 Dress uniforms.

The dress uniform of the Dover Fire Department shall be specified by the Dover Volunteer Firemen's Association. Dress uniform shall be worn when ordered by the Chief of the Department.

§ 20-23 Department records.

All records referred to in § 20-17 shall be the property of the Town of Dover. These records shall remain within the confines of the Municipal Building at all times.

§ 20-24 Certificates of exemption.

Certificates of exemption shall be issued in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey to those members meeting the stated requirements.

§ 20-25 Expenses of Board of Officers.

Stipends for the Board of Officers shall be subject to availability of funds in each calendar year budget adopted by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. The Chief of the Department shall receive, at a minimum, a stipend of $3,000, the Deputy Chief shall receive, at a minimum, a stipend of $2,000 and Captains shall receive a stipend of $400 all payable on a quarterly basis.

§ 20-26 Expenses of firemen.

Volunteer firemen who meet the following criteria shall receive in December of each year a stipend consistent with the availability of funds in the adopted municipal budget: (1) attended and answered the alarm of at least 60% of all multiple alarms or of emergency and Department drills during the year; (2) A maximum of 20 department drills may be used in computing the percentage; (3) When an active firefighter has served seven years, one credit shall be given towards his or her percentage for every year of active service. The stipend for volunteer firemen shall be at a minimum $250. An incentive at a minimum of $100 shall be provided to any member who responds to 25% of all emergency calls or 15% of all EMS calls.

§ 20-27 Insurance.

A. 
Life insurance. The Town of Dover shall make available and pay the full premium for each member of the Volunteer Fire Department's participation in a group life insurance program with minimum benefits of $10,000, until age 70 and then the benefit is reduced to $6,500. Upon retirement from active service after 25 years of satisfactory active service, the Town of Dover shall continue to pay the full annual premium for life insurance coverage for the retired member. There shall be a waiting period of six months, unless said firefighter or EMT is already trained and begins service immediately.
B. 
Workmen's compensation. Members of the Volunteer Fire Department shall be covered by workmen's compensation.
C. 
Liability insurance. The Town of Dover shall provide liability coverage for each of the members of the Volunteer Fire Department.

§ 20-28 Complaints against members; procedures, hearings and punishment.

A. 
Complaints against members of the Volunteer Fire Department.
(1) 
Anyone witnessing an infraction of this article or the duly posted general order or oral order of the Chief of the Department by a member of Volunteer Fire Department while on fire duty, during a training session or drill, any dereliction of duty, or for the good cause at any time, may file a written, signed complaint thereof with the Volunteer Fire Chief. Each member complained of shall be considered as a separate complaint.
(2) 
Each complaint must include the name and, if available, the badge number of the member complained of, the date, time, and location of the occurrence and a description of the incident. The complaint must be filed within 10 business days of the date of the incident. The postmarked date of a mailed complaint shall be considered as the filing date.
B. 
Procedure.
(1) 
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Chief of the Department will notify the Board of Officers and before any action is taken thereon, mail a copy of the complaint to the member complained of within 10 business days. This shall be done by certified mail, regular mail, or personal service and the date of the service shall constitute the date of notice.
(2) 
Should the Chief of the Department decide to file a complaint himself, he must notify the Board of Officers and the member complained of before any action whatsoever is taken thereof.
(3) 
Any complaint against the Chief of the Department by a member of the Volunteer Fire Department shall be addressed to the Board of Past Chiefs and a copy of same shall be forwarded to the Town Administrator.
C. 
Hearing process.
(1) 
Within 10 business days following the date of the receipt, the Chief shall schedule a hearing before the Board of Officers at which time the person making the complaint and the member complained of can be heard. If the complaint is against the Chief of the Department, the Board of Past Chiefs will schedule a hearing within 10 business days.
(2) 
The Board of Officers can impose discipline against a member as follows: verbal reprimand, written reprimand, suspension, or expulsion. If the member does not agree with the discipline imposed, the member may file an appeal with the Board of Past Chiefs within five business days. If the Board of Past Chiefs reprimands the Chief of the Department, then he can appeal to the Town Administrator. There must be a simple majority of the total members of the Board of Past Chiefs present during the time of the hearing. A verbal reprimand cannot be appealed.
(3) 
If an appeal is made to the Board of Past Chiefs within 10 business days, a hearing will be scheduled within 20 days from the date of receipt of the appeal. The member complained of shall receive at least seven days' notice prior to the hearing with the Board of Past Chiefs. Witnesses may be called and be heard and evidence may be presented. Should a member complained of fail to appear at this hearing without good cause shown, the hearing may be conducted in the absence of the member charged.
(4) 
The Board of Past Chiefs can dismiss the charges against the member if they find the charges have not been proved. The Board of Past Chiefs may affirm or modify the discipline imposed.
(5) 
The Board of Past Chiefs can recommend to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen to dismiss a member from the Volunteer Fire Department should they find the charges warranted.
(6) 
If the Chief of the Department is reprimanded, the Town Administrator shall be notified the next business day.
(7) 
All decisions by the Board of Past Chiefs are final except as provided in this section.
D. 
Constituent complaints.
(1) 
Complaints received by Town Officials against a member of the Volunteer Fire Department shall be forwarded to the Chief of the Department for his action.
(2) 
Complaints against the Chief of the Department shall be filed with the Town Administrator for his or her action.
(3) 
The Chief of the Department may appeal to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen the discipline imposed, if any, by the Town Administrator.

§ 20-29 Remainder of term.

A. 
The current Chief Officers will serve the remainder of their term of office.
B. 
For Chief Officers effective January 1, 2016, the current First Assistant Chief will be elevated to Department Chief. The Current Second Assistant Chief will be elevated to Deputy Chief.
C. 
For Chief Officers effective January 1, 2017, the Deputy Chief will be elevated to Department Chief. Elections for Deputy Chief will follow procedures as established elsewhere in this article.
D. 
The positions and procedures for election of Captains for 2016 as outlined elsewhere in this article and will take effect upon passage of this article, excepting the requirement of Fire Officer and Firefighter 2 training. This requirement will be required beginning January 1, 2018.

§ 20-30 Authority to execute agreement.

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-26 and N.J.S.A. 40A:14-156.1, the appropriate Town of Dover officials are hereby authorized to execute separate mutual aid agreements with Denville Township, Randolph Township, Mine Hill Township, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, Roxbury Township, Picatinny Arsenal, Borough of Victory Gardens and Wharton Borough for the purpose of fire protection services in the event of an emergency, subject to the following terms and conditions, such terms and conditions to be included in the agreements executed between the Town of Dover and the respective municipalities.

§ 20-31 Terms and conditions of agreement.

The terms and conditions of the agreement shall be as follows:
A. 
That each party agrees that, in the event of a fire emergency within the municipal jurisdiction of the other party, fire protection services and assistance will be provided upon request and to the extent reasonably possible without endangering person or property within the municipality rendering such assistance.
B. 
That all mutual fire aid rendered pursuant to such mutual aid agreements shall be provided without charge or expense to the municipality receiving such assistance. Each party to the mutual aid agreement acknowledges that it shall be solely responsible for the provision of any and all salary and other benefits for its firemen, whether paid or volunteer, rendering assistance within the other municipality, to the same, extent as if such firemen were performing their duties within the municipality providing the assistance.
C. 
That such mutual aid agreements shall have an initial term of one year, and they shall be automatically renewed for additional and successive one-year terms, unless and until one of the parties thereto elects to terminate the agreement, provided that 30 days' prior written notice has been delivered to the other party, by the adoption of an ordinance and delivery of a copy of the same to the Clerk of the other municipality.