[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Township Council) of the Township of Jefferson 2-15-1954 by Ord. No. 75; amended in its entirety 12-27-1995 by Ord. No. 23-95 (Ch. 40 of the 1967 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Division established. There is hereby authorized and established the Division of Fire-Fighting and shall be recognized as the Jefferson Township Fire Department, to be comprised of two separate companies, known as "Fire Company No. 1," the other as "Fire Company No. 2" and such additional companies as the Director of Public Safety and Township Council permit and approve.
Districts established. Both companies shall serve the Township of Jefferson as a whole and shall work in conjunction to best serve the residents of Jefferson Township. Fire District No. 1 shall be comprised primarily of serviced the Milton section of the Township and shall be serviced by Company No. 1. Fire District No. 2 shall be comprised primarily of the Lake Hopatcong section of the Township and shall be serviced primarily by Company No. 2.
Fire Company No. 1 shall be composed of not more than 75 active members. Fire Company No. 2 shall be composed of not more than 75 active members.
Membership in the Jefferson Township Fire Department shall be open to all persons who either reside or work within the Township, who have not been convicted of a crime of the fourth degree or higher as defined by the New Jersey Criminal Code and who are physically fit to perform the duties of fire fighter evidenced by a certificate to that effect issued by a licensed physician of the State of New Jersey, determining physical and mental qualifications to become a fire fighter. Each department shall have the right to require an applicant to submit to a medical examination to determine physical and mental fitness.
There shall be established in each department a membership committee of not more than 15 regular members, which committee shall be solely responsible for evaluating and ruling upon application for membership. The committee shall make a report to the company as to whether an applicant qualifies for membership within 60 days of the application being submitted. The decision of the membership committee shall be binding upon the company.
Any person applying for membership who is currently a member in good standing of a bona fide fire department in the State of New Jersey shall need only to be a resident or employed within the boundaries of the Township of Jefferson.
Any regular active member in good standing of the Jefferson Township Fire Department, upon moving from the Township, may retain his membership privileges, provided that that person maintains his required percentage of attendance and duty.
All new members to a department shall serve a probationary period for one year. During this period and at the conclusion thereof, each probationary member shall be evaluated solely by the officers of the company who supervise him in the performance of his duties. They may cause the dismissal of any member during his probationary period only for failure to perform the established duties of a probationary member in a reasonably satisfactory manner or other good cause and may do so by notifying the probationary member, in writing, of his rejection and the particular reasons therefor. At the end of the probationary period, said supervising officers shall determine whether or not the applicant has satisfactorily performed the duties of probationary member. If he has, they shall promptly recommend to the membership that he be admitted to full membership, and their recommendations shall be binding on the company and he shall be so admitted forthwith. If he has not, they shall promptly notify the probationary member, in writing, of his rejection and the particular reasons therefor. No vote of the membership shall be conducted on the issue of whether any probationary member shall continue as a probationary member or shall be admitted to full membership.
[Amended 11-13-2013 by Ord. No. 17-13]
Every active member of the Jefferson Township Fire Department shall in each and every year maintain a percentage of at least 50% of fires and drills combined. After seven years of maintaining 50%, said member shall become state exempt and shall be allowed to maintain 30% of fires and drills combined. Each company shall maintain a record of attendance of each member and shall report the same to the Director of Public Safety annually.
[Amended 12-19-2001 by Ord. No. 44-01]
Each company shall have a Chief, Assistant Chief, Captain, Lieutenant, Engineers and a Safety Officer in accordance with company bylaws. A Symbolic Department Chief shall be designated each year and will rotate between both companies each year. The Department Chief shall have no command duties over the fire company he is not a member of. All officers shall be in compliance with IMS certifications requirement as per N.J.A.C. 5:73-1.6(b)(c).
Each company shall, during the month of December, elect for the ensuing year such officers. All officers shall be subject to the directions of the Director of Public Safety and their respective Company Chief.
The Chief of the appropriate responding company in whose district an emergency is contained shall assume command of such emergency. In the absence of the Company Chief, its command shall devolve upon and its duties shall be performed by the Assistant Chief or, in the absence of both, the next ranking officer of the respective company shall assume command. In the absence of all ranking officers, the senior member of the appropriate responding fire company in whose district the emergency is contained shall assume command of such emergency.
Any member may be suspended or terminated for violation of this article by the Director of Public Safety. Additionally, any member may be suspended or terminated for violations of respective company bylaws or company or department policy upon recommendation and advice of their respective Company Chief. All suspensions and terminations shall be reported, in writing, to the Director of Public Safety. Member appeals for termination may be brought to the Township Council for its recommendation.
There is hereby established, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-95, in the Township of Jefferson an auxiliary to the Township Fire Department known as the "Jefferson Township Junior Firemen's Auxiliary."
Any individual between the ages of 16 and 18 years shall be eligible for membership in the Jefferson Township Junior Firemen's Auxiliary. No individual shall become a member of a junior firemen's auxiliary unless permission shall be obtained from such individual's parents or legal guardian. Such permission shall be in writing and acknowledged or approved in the manner required by law for deeds to real estate to be recorded.
An application shall be made to either Fire Company No. 1 or No. 2 within the Township, and the rules and regulations for the conduct of such junior firemen and the use of the firemen shall be adopted by the respective fire companies.