[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township of Howell by Ord. No. 0-80-4; amended in its entirety by Ord. No. 0-94-28 (Ch. XIX of the 1974 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Emergency services benefits — See Ch. 13.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited and referred to as the "Emergency Services Ordinance of the Township of Howell."
It is the intent and purpose of this chapter to establish an office that will insure the complete and efficient utilization of all of the Township's resources to combat disaster resulting from disasters as defined herein.
The Howell Township Office of Emergency Services will be the coordinating agency for all activity in connection with civil defense; it will be the instrument through which the Township Manager may exercise the authority and discharge the responsibilities vested in him.
This chapter will not relieve any Township department of the normal responsibilities or authority given to it by ordinances, nor will it adversely affect the work of any volunteer agency organized for relief in disaster emergencies.
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation of this chapter:
- A direct or indirect assault against the Township, its government, its environs, or of the nation, by the forces of a hostile nation or the agents thereof, including assault by bombing radiological, chemical or biological warfare, or sabotage.
- DEPUTY DIRECTOR
- Said person appointed as the Deputy Municipal Disaster Control Director by the Director defined herein with the approval of the Township Manager pursuant to N.J.S.A. App. A:9-40.3.
- The Director of the Howell Township Office of Emergency Services, who shall fulfill the statutory responsibility of the Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator as required by N.J.S.A. App. A:9-40.1.
- Includes, but is not limited to, actual or threatened enemy attack, sabotage, extraordinary fire, flood, storm, epidemic or other impending or actual calamity endangering or threatening to endanger health, life or property or constituted government.
- EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
- A council of not more than 15 members who shall be appointed by the Township Manager and shall hold the office at the will and pleasure of the Township Manager, which Council shall assist the Township in establishing the various local volunteer agencies needed to meet the requirements of all local emergency management activities in accordance with the rules and regulations established by the Governor of the state pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. App. A:9-41.
- EMERGENCY SERVICES
- In its broad meaning, to carry out the basic government functions of maintaining the public peace, health and safety during an emergency. This shall include plans and preparations for protection from, and relief, recovery and rehabilitation from, the effects of an attack on the Township by the forces of an enemy nation or the agents thereof, and it shall also include such activity in connection with disaster as defined herein. It shall not, however, include any activity that is the primary responsibility of the military forces of the United States or of the State of New Jersey.
- EMERGENCY SERVICES FORCES
- The employees, equipment and resources of all Township departments, boards, institutions and commissions; and, in addition, it shall include all volunteer personnel, equipment and resources contributed by, or obtained from, volunteer persons or agencies.
- EMERGENCY SERVICES VOLUNTEER
- Any person duly registered, identified and appointed by the Director of the Office of Emergency Services and assigned to participate in the emergency services activity.
- Include plans, programs and other emergency procedures deemed essential to emergency services (civil defense).
- Contributing a service, equipment or resources to the emergency services organization without remuneration.
The Township Manager is hereby authorized and directed to create an organization for emergency services (civil defense), utilizing to the fullest extent the existing agencies within this Township. The Township Manager, as executive head of the municipal government, shall appoint the Director of the Howell Township Office of Emergency Services and members of the Emergency Management Council, and shall be responsible for their organization, administration and operations in accordance with New Jersey State statutes.
The organization shall consist of the following:
An Office of Emergency Services (civil defense) within the executive branch of the Township government and under the direction of the Township Manager. There shall be an executive head of the Office of Emergency Services who shall be known as the "Director of the Office of Emergency Services," and such assistants and other employees as are deemed necessary for the proper functioning of the organization.
The employees, equipment and resources of all Township departments, boards, institutions and commissions will participate in the emergency services activity. Duties assigned to a Township department shall be the same or similar to the normal duties of the department.
Volunteer persons and agencies offering service to and accepted by the Township.
The Township Manager shall appoint a Director of the Howell Township Office of Emergency Services, in accordance with the New Jersey statutes, who shall be a person well versed and trained in planning operations involving the activities of many different agencies, which will operate to protect the public health, safety and welfare in the event of danger from enemy action or disaster as defined in this chapter. The Director shall be a resident of the Township and shall serve for a term of three years. As a condition of his or her appointment and his or her right to continue for the full term of his or her employment, he or she shall have successfully completed at the time of his or her appointment or within one year immediately following his or her appointment the current approved home study course and the basic emergency management workshop. Failure to fulfill such requirement within the period prescribed shall disqualify the individual from continuing the office of Director, and thereupon a vacancy in said office shall be deemed to have been created.
The Emergency Services Director shall designate and appoint Deputy Directors, with the approval of the Township Manager, to assume the emergency duties of the Director in the event of his or her absence or inability to act. Wherever possible, such Deputy shall be appointed from among the salaried officers or employees of the Township.
The Manager may exercise the emergency power and authority necessary to fulfill his or her general powers and duties as defined in the ordinances of the Township. The judgment of the Township Manager shall be the sole criteria necessary to invoke emergency powers provided in the Charter, the Ordinance Code, and other appropriate authorities. Wherever practical the Township Manager shall consult telephonically or in person with members of the Township Council prior to exercising his emergency powers herein. The Township Council may convene to perform its legislative and administrative powers, as the situation demands, and shall receive reports relative to emergency services activities. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as abridging or curtailing the powers or restrictions of the Township Council as defined in Township ordinances and statutes of the State of New Jersey.
During any period when disaster threatens or when the Township has been struck by disaster, within the definition or this chapter, the Township Manager, or, in his or her absence, the Emergency Services Director, may promulgate such regulations as he or she deems necessary, to protect life and property and preserve natural resources. Such regulations may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
Regulations prohibiting or restricting the movement of vehicles in order to facilitate the work of emergency services (civil defense) forces, or to facilitate the mass movement of persons from critical areas within or without the Township.
Regulations pertaining to the movement of persons from areas deemed to be hazardous or vulnerable to disaster.
Such other regulations necessary to preserve public peace, health and safety.
Regulations promulgated in accordance with the authority above will be given widespread circulation by proclamations published and uttered by newspapers and radio. These regulations will have the force of ordinance when duly filed with the Township Clerk, and violations will be subject to the penalties provided in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty, of the Township Code.
The Emergency Services Director shall coordinate the movement of emergency services forces to the aid of other communities, when required, in accordance with the statutes of the state, and he or she may request the state, or a political subdivision of the state, to send aid to the Township of Howell in case of disaster when conditions in the Township are beyond the control of the local emergency services forces.
The Director of the Office of Emergency Services (civil defense) shall be responsible to the Township Manager in regard to all phases of the emergency services activity. Under the supervision of the Township Manager, he or she shall be responsible for the planning, coordination and operation of the emergency services activity in the Township. Under the supervision of the Township Manager, he or she shall maintain liaison with the county, state and federal authorities and the authorities of other nearby political subdivisions as to insure the most effective operation of the plan.
His or her duties shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
Coordinating the recruitment of volunteer personnel and agencies to augment the personnel and facilities of the Township for emergency services purposes.
Development and coordination of plans for the immediate use of all the facilities, equipment, manpower and other resources of the Township for the purpose of minimizing or preventing damage to persons and property; and protecting and restoring to usefulness governmental services and public utilities necessary for the public health, safety and welfare.
Negotiating and concluding agreements with owners or persons in control of buildings or other property, for the use of such buildings or other property for the emergency services purposes and designating suitable buildings as public shelters.
Through public and informational programs, educating the civilian population as to actions necessary and required for the protection of their persons and property in case of enemy attack, or disaster, as defined herein, either impending or present.
Conducting public practice alerts to insure the efficient operation of the emergency services forces, and to familiarize residents with emergency services regulations, procedures and operations.
Coordinating the activity of all other public and private agencies engaged in any emergency services activity.
Assuming such authority and conducting such activity as the Township Manager may direct, to promote and execute the emergency services operations plan.
Membership. The Emergency Management Council shall be composed of not more than 15 members who shall be appointed by the Township Manager and who shall hold office at the will and pleasure of the Township Manager. The Director of the Howell Township Office of Emergency Services shall be a member and shall serve as the Chairman of the Emergency Management Council. It shall be lawful for the members of the Emergency Management Council also to be members of other agencies created because of any emergency.
Duties. The Emergency Management Council shall assist the Township in establishing the various local volunteer agencies needed to meet the requirements of all local emergency management activities in accordance with the rules and regulations established by the Governor in pursuance of the provisions of N.J.S.A. App. A:9-41 et seq. The Emergency Management Council is authorized to establish an adequate organization to assist in supervising and coordinating the emergency management activities of the Township.
A comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan shall be adopted and maintained by resolution of the Township Council, upon the recommendations of the Mayor. In the preparation of this plan, as it pertains to Township organization, it is the intent that the services, equipment, resources and personnel of all existing departments and agencies shall be used to the fullest extent. When approved, it shall be the duty of all municipal departments and agencies to perform the functions assigned by the plan and to maintain their portion of the plan in a current state of readiness at all times. The Emergency Operations Plan shall be considered supplementary to this chapter and have the effect of law whenever a disaster, as defined in this chapter, has been proclaimed.
The Director shall prescribe in the plan those positions within the disaster organization, in addition to his own, for which lines of succession are necessary. The list of succession will, as nearly as possible, designate persons best capable of carrying out all assigned duties and functions.
Each coordinator and department head assigned responsibility in the plan shall be responsible for carrying out all duties and functions assigned therein. Duties will include the organization and training of assigned Township employees and volunteers. Each coordinator shall formulate the operational plan for his service, which, when approved, shall be an annex to and a part of the basic plan.
Amendments to the plan shall be approved by the Mayor.
When a required competency or skill for a disaster function is not available within the Township government, the Director is authorized to seek assistance from persons outside of government. The assigned duties, when of a supervisory nature, shall grant authority for the persons so assigned to carry out such duties prior to, during, and after the occurrence of a disaster. Such services from persons outside of government may be accepted by the Township on a volunteer basis. Such citizens shall be enrolled as emergency services volunteers in cooperation with the heads of Township departments affected.
This chapter is an exercise by the Township of its governmental functions for the protection of the public peace, health and safety, and neither the Township nor agents and representatives of the Township, or any individual, receiver, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or trustee, or any of the agents thereof, in good faith carrying out, complying with or attempting to comply with any order, rule or regulations promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall be liable for any damage sustained to persons or property as the result of said activity.
Any person owning or controlling real estate or other premises, who voluntarily and without compensation grants the Township the right to inspect, designate and use the whole or any part or parts of such real estate or premises for the purpose of sheltering persons during an actual, impending or practice attack or disaster or emergency, shall not be civilly liable for the death of or injury to any persons on or about such real estate or premises under such license, privilege or other permission, or for the loss of, or damage to, the property of such person in accordance with New Jersey State statutes.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any of the provisions of this chapter, or of the regulations or plans issued pursuant to the authority contained herein, or to willfully obstruct, hinder or delay any member of the emergency services organization, as herein defined, in the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter or any regulation or plan issued thereunder.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter, or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500, and costs of prosecution, or imprisonment in the Monmouth County Jail for a period of not more than 90 days, or both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.