Township of North Brunswick, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Mayor and Council) of the Township of North Brunswick as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention — See Ch. 176.
Article I General Regulations

§ 32-1 Authority to establish.

§ 32-2 Composition; qualifications.

§ 32-3 Approval of members.

§ 32-4 (Reserved)

§ 32-5 Board of Fire Officers.

§ 32-6 Election of Fire Chief and Assistant Chief.

§ 32-7 Annual meeting of the Fire Department.

§ 32-8 Fire Prevention Bureau.

§ 32-9 Number of firemen in each company.

§ 32-10 Duties of firemen at times of fire.

§ 32-11 General supervision of Department.

§ 32-12 Control and command during fires.

§ 32-13 Assumption of duties in absence of superior officers.

§ 32-14 Police power and authority while on fire duty.

§ 32-15 Reports to Fire Chief of faulty hydrants.

§ 32-16 Tampering with apparatus.

§ 32-17 Driving mobile apparatus.

§ 32-18 Reports to Mayor and Council of faulty hydrants.

§ 32-19 Chief to submit reports to Council.

§ 32-20 Records of fire and drill service.

§ 32-21 Power of expulsion or suspension of members.

§ 32-22 Reports of suspension, expulsion to Department at next regular meeting.

§ 32-23 Right to appeal suspension or expulsion to Department.

§ 32-24 Appeal of expulsion or suspension to Mayor and Council.

§ 32-25 Filing charges against firemen.

§ 32-26 Appeal of charges to Department.

§ 32-27 Appeal of Department decision to Mayor and Council.

§ 32-28 Practice drills.

§ 32-29 Failure to respond to call for drill or training.

§ 32-30 Charges against individuals for failure to respond to practice drills.

§ 32-31 Charges against fire company for failure to respond to practice drills.

§ 32-32 Right of fire company to appeal to Mayor and Council.

§ 32-33 Provision of insurance coverage.

§ 32-34 Training at practice drills.

§ 32-35 (Reserved)

§ 32-36 Penalty for refusal to permit entrance to fight fires.

Article II Investigation of Applicants to Volunteer Fire Companies and First-Aid and Rescue Squad

§ 32-37 Investigation and report required.

[Adopted 11-2-1959]

§ 32-1 Authority to establish.

Fire companies may be authorized and established, in addition to those already in existence in the township, by the Mayor and Council of the Township of North Brunswick when and if the said Mayor and Council deems it necessary for the safety and welfare of the township.

§ 32-2 Composition; qualifications.

[Amended 7-3-1972; 5-21-1990]
The Fire Department of the Township of North Brunswick shall consist of a Fire Chief, the Chief of each fire company established in the township, who shall be designated as Assistant Chiefs of the Fire Department in order of rank, or the top officers of each company, and as many firemen as are members of the respective fire companies. Each member of the respective fire companies shall, at the time of his or her election to membership in one of the said companies, be in compliance with the physical examination guidelines and standards as set forth by the New Jersey State Firemen's Association for the acceptance of new members. All applicants for memberships in one of the said companies shall provide a physician's certification that he or she is qualified for membership in accordance with the aforesaid physical examination guidelines.

§ 32-3 Approval of members.

[Amended 1-17-1995]
Any citizen within the age limit stated above who has been elected to one of the several companies in the township shall become a member of the Fire Department; provided, however, that a proposal to that effect is made in writing, with the approvals of the Chief of the Department and the Chief of the particular company endorsed thereon, to the Mayor and the Council of the Township of North Brunswick, and the said Mayor and Council grants its approval. All resignations from the Fire Department shall take the identical course as that outlined above with respect to elections to the Department.

§ 32-4 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 32-4, Inspections, was repealed 2-12-2001 by Ord. No. 01-1.

§ 32-5 Board of Fire Officers.

[Amended 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1]
The Fire Chief and the three top officers of each company shall constitute the Board of Fire Officers; provided, however, that each appointment to the Board shall be subject to the approval of the Mayor and Council of the Township of North Brunswick. Said Board shall reorganize annually and shall hold meetings at least monthly throughout the year, and more frequently when required, for the purpose of transacting the business of the Fire Department. The Board shall have complete and absolute control over and management of the Fire Department during such times when the Department is not on active duty, subject to the approval of the Mayor and Council. Said approval may be granted or refused by the Mayor and Council only in accordance with the provisions of this chapter as specifically and particularly provided.

§ 32-6 Election of Fire Chief and Assistant Chief.

[Amended 3-3-1980]
A. 
The Fire Department, at its annual meeting in December, shall elect the Fire Chief, First Assistant Chief and Second Assistant Chief of the township, each of whom is to serve for a term of one year, subject to the approval of the Mayor and Council by resolution duly adopted. A two-thirds vote of those present at said annual meeting shall be required to elect said Fire Chief and Assistant Chiefs. The offices of Fire Chief and Assistant Chiefs shall be filled on a Fire Company Nos. 1, 2 and 3 rotation basis from among the qualified officers of the several companies. A qualified officer for Township Chief or Assistant Chief must be an active or exempt member who is responding to 40% of the alarms for the year previous to assumption of office and must have been a Department fire line officer of Fire Company No. 1, 2 or 3 for at least four years previous to his election and holding the rank of Lieutenant or above.
[Amended 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1]
B. 
In the event that the Township Chief vacates his office for any reason, the First Assistant Township Chief will become Acting Township Chief for the duration of the term. The Second Assistant Township Chief will become Acting First Assistant Township Chief. The rank of Second Assistant Township Chief will be filled by the fire company of which the vacated Township Chief was a member.

§ 32-7 Annual meeting of the Fire Department.

The Board of Fire Officers shall call the annual meeting of the Fire Department in December.

§ 32-8 Fire Prevention Bureau.

[Added 5-1-1967; amended 3-1-1971; 4-17-1978; 1-17-1995]
A. 
The Chiefs of each of the fire companies of North Brunswick shall appoint one man from their respective companies to act as Fire Inspector. These Inspectors, in turn, shall appoint six men from their own companies to act as Assistant Inspectors. Collectively, the Inspectors and Assistant Inspectors shall be known as the "Fire Prevention Bureau." Appointments to the Fire Prevention Bureau shall be made, as indicated, subject to the approval of the Mayor and Council. The term of all members shall expire on December 31 of each year. Members, after serving 48 consecutive months and upon receiving Fire Inspector certification from the Department of Community Affairs Bureau of Fire Safety of the State of New Jersey, shall be permanently appointed to the Fire Prevention Bureau and shall remain until they resign or are removed.
B. 
The members of the Fire Prevention Bureau shall elect the following officers: Chief Inspector, First Assistant Inspector, Second Assistant Inspector and three Captains.
C. 
Any member of the Fire Prevention Bureau not fulfilling his duties may, after a hearing by the Bureau, be removed by a two-thirds vote.
D. 
All members of the Fire Prevention Bureau shall serve without financial compensation.
E. 
Duties of the Bureau of Fire Prevention:
(1) 
Educate the general public on fire prevention.
(2) 
Perform the duties necessary for Fire Prevention Week.
(3) 
Have the authority to police all fire lanes and fire zones within the boundaries of North Brunswick and issue summons.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Chapter 173, Fire Lanes and Fire Zones, § 173-7, Enforcement agencies.
(4) 
Under the supervision of the Bureau of Fire Safety, the Fire Prevention Bureau may inspect non-life-hazard buildings.
(5) 
The Bureau of Fire Safety, under the supervision of the Fire Official, shall be responsible for fire investigations. The Fire Prevention Bureau, under the supervision of the Fire Official, may assist the Bureau of Fire Safety and Fire Investigations.
[Amended 2-12-2001 by Ord. No. 01-1[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Subsection E(6), regarding revenue generated by the Fire Prevention Bureau, and Subsection F, regarding the right of members to enter buildings, structures or premises, both of which followed this subsection.

§ 32-9 Number of firemen in each company.

Each fire company shall contain as many firemen and honorary members as the particular company shall deem necessary for its purposes, subject to the approval of the Mayor and Council of the Township of North Brunswick. Honorary members shall be elected to the Fire Department in the same manner as the election of firemen as outlined above.

§ 32-10 Duties of firemen at times of fire.

It shall be the duty of the firemen of the Department, upon learning of the outbreak of a fire, by alarm or otherwise, to proceed immediately to their respective firehouses and to convey their apparatus to the place of the fire, unless otherwise directed by the Chief or an Assistant Chief or by the senior officer in charge. Each fireman shall remain at the scene of the fire under the direction and subject to all orders of the officer present who is in charge. Upon being ordered home, each fireman shall immediately proceed thereto, making such that the apparatus is returned, well washed and cleaned and that all tanks and extinguishers are filled.

§ 32-11 General supervision of Department.

The Fire Chief shall have general supervision of the Department when it is not on actual duty involving a fire, which supervision shall be subject to and not in conflict with such rules and bylaws for the government and management of the Department as may from time to time be adopted.

§ 32-12 Control and command during fires.

The Fire Chief, or his Assistant Chiefs in order of rank in the event of his absence, shall have full power and absolute control and command while the Department is engaged in active fire duty and shall cause the several pieces of apparatus to be utilized in the most advantageous manner for combating the fire.

§ 32-13 Assumption of duties in absence of superior officers.

In the event that the Fire Chief and the Assistant Chiefs are absent from a fire, the fireman having charge of the apparatus who first arrives at the fire shall assume the duties of the Chief until the arrival of a superior officer, who will then take charge.

§ 32-14 Police power and authority while on fire duty.

The Fire Chief and the Assistant Chiefs, or the one in command at the fire, are hereby clothed with full and complete police power and authority while on fire duty and are hereby authorized and directed to require and secure the removal of any and all obstructions from in front of and around hydrants, and for that purpose are hereby authorized to call upon the heads of any of the municipal departments for aid and assistance in securing the removal of such obstructions.

§ 32-15 Reports to Fire Chief of faulty hydrants.

It shall be the duty of the fire company officer in charge of his company at a fire or a drill to report to the Fire Chief all fire hydrants that are found to be inoperative or leaky or are set in such a manner as to make it difficult to connect thereto.

§ 32-16 Tampering with apparatus.

No member of any fire company shall be permitted to tamper with or fix or repair any of the apparatus of the company or the Department unless so directed by the Chief of his company or the Assistant Chief of said company or by the senior officer in charge.

§ 32-17 Driving mobile apparatus.

No member of any company shall drive the mobile apparatus of the company or the Department, except the regularly qualified drivers unless directed to do so by the Fire Chief or an Assistant Chief or by the senior officer in charge, and then only in case of emergency.

§ 32-18 Reports to Mayor and Council of faulty hydrants.

It shall be the duty of the Fire Chief to make a permanent record of all reports of defective, inoperative or improperly set hydrants, and he shall submit a report to the Mayor and Council, giving the location of such hydrants, the name of the maker and a specification of the troubles involved.

§ 32-19 Chief to submit reports to Council.

[Amended 3-1-1971]
The Fire Chief shall submit a report to the Mayor and Council, containing the following information: the condition of the various pieces of fire apparatus and appurtenances, including fire hydrants; a tabulation of all fires occurring within the township during the period of the report, specifying their date, location, actual or suspected cause and the loss occasioned thereby; a manpower status report detailing the authorized strength of the various fire companies, their actual strength on a monthly basis during the period of the report, election of new members and any resignations or expulsion of old members during the period of the report; a brief summary of the activities of the Fire Prevention Bureau during the period of the report, including any recommendations regarding the updating or amending of the Fire Prevention Code, Life Safety Code,[1] Zoning Ordinance,[2] Building Code and any other township ordinance relative to fire prevention, fire protection or fire safety; and any condition, building or structure existing within the township which, in the opinion of the Fire Chief, constitutes a hazard to life or property from fire or explosion.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 176, Fire Prevention.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 205, Land Use.

§ 32-20 Records of fire and drill service.

[Amended 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1]
The Chief of each fire company shall keep a permanent record of the fire and drill service of each member of the company and shall submit a copy of such record to the Board of Fire Officers at the close of the calendar year.

§ 32-21 Power of expulsion or suspension of members.

Each company shall have the power, pursuant to its own rules and regulations, to expel or suspend any member who is guilty of insubordination or misconduct while not on fire duty.

§ 32-22 Reports of suspension, expulsion to Department at next regular meeting.

[Amended 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1]
The vote of any of the fire companies of the Department to expel or suspend any of the members of the particular company shall be reported to the next regular meeting of the Fire Department following said action.

§ 32-23 Right to appeal suspension or expulsion to Department.

[Amended 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1]
The expelled or suspended member shall have the right to appeal to the Fire Department at its next regular meeting; provided, however, that notice of the appeal is filed with the fire company within 30 days after the vote for expulsion or suspension, as the case may be. After hearing the charges and defenses thereto, the members attending that meeting or joint meeting shall then vote whether to confirm or reverse the decision of the fire company.

§ 32-24 Appeal of expulsion or suspension to Mayor and Council.

[Amended 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1]
In the event that the Fire Department votes to confirm the fire company, the expelled or suspended member shall then have the further right of appeal to the Mayor and Council of the Township of North Brunswick, or an officer to be appointed by the Mayor and Council in their stead, provided, however, that notice of this appeal is filed with the fire company and the Mayor and Council within 30 days after the vote at the meeting. The Mayor and Council, or appointed officer, shall hear the charges and defenses and its decision shall be final and binding upon all the parties, and there shall be no appeal therefrom.

§ 32-25 Filing charges against firemen.

[Amended 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1]
Charges of insubordination, neglect of duty or misconduct while on fire duty may be brought by the Fire Chief or any of the Assistant Chiefs of the Fire Department, or by any member of the Fire Department, against any officer or fireman of a fire company before such company in which the charged officer or fireman is a member, or may be brought directly to a meeting of the Fire Department.

§ 32-26 Appeal of charges to Department.

[Amended 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1]
In the event that such charges are brought before the fire company, either side may appeal to a meeting of the Fire Department from an adverse decision of the company by filing a notice of such appeal with the fire company and with the Board of Fire Officers within 30 days after the decision is reached.

§ 32-27 Appeal of Department decision to Mayor and Council.

[Amended 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1]
The decision of the meeting of the Fire Department, either on appeal or in initial proceedings, may be appealed to the Mayor and Council of the Township of North Brunswick, or an officer to be appointed by the Mayor and Council in their stead, by filing a notice of appeal within 30 days from the decision of the meeting. The decision of the Mayor and Council, or appointed officer, shall be final and binding, and there shall be no appeal therefrom.

§ 32-28 Practice drills.

It shall be the duty of the Fire Chief to hold practice drills when and where, in his discretion, he deems them to be necessary, and for that purpose he may call out any or all of the fire companies to participate in such drills, provided, however, that each fire company is called to drill and training at least one time during each month of the year.

§ 32-29 Failure to respond to call for drill or training.

Any fire company or officer or member thereof refusing or failing to respond to a call for drill or training, as aforesaid, shall be liable to suspension or expulsion.

§ 32-30 Charges against individuals for failure to respond to practice drills.

Charges against any officer or member of a fire company for refusing or failing to respond to a call for drill or training may be brought in the manner detailed in §§ 32-25 through 32-27 of this chapter.

§ 32-31 Charges against fire company for failure to respond to practice drills.

[Amended 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1]
Charges against a fire company for refusing or failing to respond to a call for drill or training shall be brought by the Fire Chief directly to a meeting of the Department, which may vote to suspend or expel.

§ 32-32 Right of fire company to appeal to Mayor and Council.

[Amended 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1]
Such fire company shall have the right to appeal to the Mayor and Council of the Township of North Brunswick, or an officer to be appointed by the Mayor and Council in their stead, provided that such appeal is filed within 30 days after the decision of the meeting. The decision of the Mayor and Council, or appointed officer, shall be final and binding, and there shall be no appeal therefrom.

§ 32-33 Provision of insurance coverage.

[Amended 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1]
Every member of the Fire Department shall be provided with life insurance and workmen's compensation insurance by the Township of North Brunswick.

§ 32-34 Training at practice drills.

The Fire Chief shall arrange the drills and training, which shall include the proper and efficient use of all of the appliances and apparatus of the Department, including the quick handling, laying and raising of hose, handling of streams, use of shutoff nozzles, Siamese connections, forcible entry tools, salvage work, ladder work, lifesaving and modern methods of extinguishment.

§ 32-35 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 32-35, Penalty for refusal to permit entrance for inspections, as amended, was repealed 1-17-1995.

§ 32-36 Penalty for refusal to permit entrance to fight fires.

[Amended 9-6-1977; 4-17-2006 by Ord. No. 06-06]
Any person, company or corporation refusing to permit entrance by any of the members of the Fire Department for the purpose of fighting a fire or preventing the spread of a fire in progress shall be subject to a fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 90 days, or both. Said fine shall be imposed on complaint and conviction before the Municipal Court of the Township of North Brunswick.
[Adopted 6-19-1978]

§ 32-37 Investigation and report required.

The Police Department of the Township of North Brunswick shall cause to be conducted a complete investigation into all police records of every applicant for membership in the North Brunswick Volunteer Fire Companies and the North Brunswick First-Aid and Rescue Squad and shall forthwith submit such report to the North Brunswick Mayor and Council, which shall consider such police report in connection with the appointment of the applicants to membership in the North Brunswick Volunteer Fire Companies and the First-Aid and Rescue Squad.