[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Morris as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-18-1996 by Ord. No. 27-96 (Ch. 11, Part 1, of the 1969 Code)]
There is hereby established in the Township of Morris a department to be hereafter known as the "Township of Morris Fire Department," the object of which shall be the prevention of fire and the protection of life and property within the limits of the Township of Morris.
The Fire Department shall consist of a Fire Chief, a Deputy Fire Chief, two Battalion Fire Chiefs and as many Captains, Lieutenants and other firemen deemed necessary under a table of organization required for the proper operation of the Fire Department and such other officers and employees as the Township Committee may hereafter deem proper and by resolution designate. For the purpose of this article, there shall be three Divisions within the organizational structure of the Fire Department: Paid Division, Volunteer Division and Fire/Police Warden Division.
The Fire Chief shall be appointed by the members of the Township Committee for an indefinite period of time, and his tenure of office shall depend upon his good conduct and efficiency. The Chief shall be technically qualified by training and experience and shall have the ability to command men and hold their respect and confidence.
The Deputy Fire Chief shall meet all of the requisites of Subsection A with reference to his appointment and qualifications. The duties of the Deputy Fire Chief shall be assigned by the Fire Chief. In the absence of the Fire Chief, the Deputy Fire Chief shall assume command of the entire operations of the Fire Department (line/administrative duties).
There shall be two Battalion Chiefs, who shall be appointed pursuant to the rules and regulations governing the Fire Department, with approval contingent upon official action of the Chief and members of the Township Committee. They shall report to the Chief at fires and assist him in the discharge of his duties. In the absence of the Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief, the Senior Battalion Chief shall command the Fire Department at all fire incidents (line duties). In the absence of the Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief and Senior Battalion Chief, the Junior Battalion Chief shall command the Fire Department at all fire incidents (line duties). In the absence of the Fire Chief and the Deputy Fire Chief, the senior ranking paid Division officer will assume all administrative duties of the Fire Department.
In the absence of the Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief and both Battalion Chiefs, the first officer to arrive at the scene shall command the Fire Department until the arrival of the area Captain or a superior officer.
The fire force shall be divided into companies which shall be recommended by the Fire Chief and approved by the Township Committee, based upon the needs of the community to provide proper fire protection.
Each company of the Fire Department shall be in the direct charge of a Captain selected by the company pursuant to the rules and regulations governing the Township of Morris Fire Department with final approval contingent upon official action by the Chief of the Department and members of the Township Committee.
Each company of the Fire Department shall select a First Lieutenant and a Second Lieutenant pursuant to the rules and regulations governing the Township of Morris Fire Department, with final approval contingent upon official action by the Chief of the Department and members of the Township Committee. The First Lieutenant and Second Lieutenant, in the absence of the Company Captain, shall exercise the same duties and have the same powers as devolve upon the Captain. At all other times, the Lieutenants shall perform such duties as the Captain may direct.
Paid Division members shall be appointed upon suitable application for employment. Appointment as a member of the Department will be pursuant to the rules and regulations governing the Township of Morris Fire Department. Approval for appointment will be contingent upon official action of the Chief of the Fire Department and members of the Township Committee. General qualifications for membership in the Paid Division are as follows:
Is a citizen of the United States.
Has attained the age of 18 years through 35 years.
Is sound in body and of good health sufficient to satisfy the Township Physician and the Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System of New Jersey as to his eligibility for membership in the retirement system.
Is able to read, write and speak the English language well and intelligently.
Is of good moral character.
Has not been convicted of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude.
Has complied with all laws of the State of New Jersey.
Volunteer Division members shall be appointed upon suitable application. The application for membership to the New Jersey State Firemen's Association will be recognized as suitable application for membership in the Township of Morris Fire Department. Appointment as a member of the Department will be pursuant to the rules and regulations governing the Township of Morris Fire Department. Approval for appointment will be contingent upon acceptance of the applicant by the fire company and official action of the Chief of the Department and members of the Township Committee.
General qualifications for application for membership in the Volunteer Division are as follows:
The applicant is a citizen of the United States.
The applicant has attained the age of 18 years through 45 years.
[Amended 2-18-2015 by Ord. No. 05-15]
The applicant is sound in body and of good health sufficient to satisfy the Township Physician and the Executive Board of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association as to eligibility for membership in the State Firemen's Association.
The applicant is able to read, write and speak the English language well and intelligently.
The applicant is of good moral character.
The applicant has not been convicted of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude.
The applicant has complied with all laws of the State of New Jersey.
Membership in volunteer fire companies shall be open to all persons who are able to perform the duties of volunteer firemen, without discrimination on the basis of an applicant's race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status or physical handicap. In order to effectuate this requirement of nondiscrimination, volunteer fire companies, hereinafter called "companies," shall adhere to the following admissions procedures:
Each company shall establish objective qualifications for membership which shall relate directly and solely to the physical and technical ability and character fitness of an applicant to perform the vocational duties of a volunteer fireman or first aid squad member, respectively.
Each company shall submit a notice to the Township Clerk which shall include the company's name, address, the names of its officers and members and the dates of its regular organization meetings. Said notice shall be posted by the Clerk forthwith.
Each company shall supply the Clerk of the Township with application forms, and the Clerk shall distribute them on written request or on personal request made during normal business hours. Said forms shall state that applications may be filed either by personal delivery or by sending them by mail to the Secretary or other designated officer of the company, whose mailing address shall either appear on the application form or be available from the Township Clerk.
The Secretary or other officer designated to receive applications shall date each application with the time of receipt and shall number the application according to its order of receipt relative to other applications.
Each company shall establish a Membership Committee, consisting of not more than 15 members, which shall be solely responsible for evaluating and ruling upon applications for membership. It shall, within 60 days of receipt of an application by the company, make a report to the company as to whether or not the applicant qualifies for membership. Its decision shall be binding on the company, and no vote of the membership shall be conducted on the issue of whether an applicant shall be admitted to membership.
Applicants reported by the Membership Committee to be qualified for membership shall be admitted in the order in which their applications were received as set forth in Subsection I(2)(a). If at any time the number of applicants found to be qualified exceeds the number of current vacancies on the fire company state firemen's active list, a waiting list shall be established according to the order in which the applications were received, and appointments shall be made therefrom in that same order.
If the Membership Committee determines that an applicant does not meet the minimum requirements for membership, the company's Secretary shall promptly advise the applicant in writing of the rejection and the qualifications, described with particularity, which he has not substantially met.
Any company may require newly accepted applicants to serve a probationary period of reasonable duration, not to exceed one year. During such 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 a probationary member. If he has, they shall promptly recommend to the membership that he be admitted to full membership, and their recommendation 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.
Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to prevent any company, in its discretion, from providing intracompany means for appealing rejections from applications for membership or dismissals from membership.
Any person who is rejected or dismissed from membership by any company shall have the right to challenge such action in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq.
All volunteer fire companies of the Township of Morris shall amend their constitution, bylaws and rules and regulations to effect the above-stated requirements of the State of New Jersey.
Fire/Police Warden Division.
Members of the Fire/Police Warden Division must have satisfied all requirements for membership in the Township of Morris Fire Department under Subsection I. Selection to this Division will be pursuant to the rules and regulations governing the Township of Morris Fire Department and will be contingent upon official action and approval of the fire company, with final approval by the Chief of the Department and members of the Township Committee.
Police powers of Fire/Police Warden Division members are prescribed under the New Jersey State Statutes, N.J.S.A. 40A:14-54, Firemen in the performance of their duties to have powers of police officers.
Duties of Fire/Police Warden Division members shall be prescribed specifically under the rules and regulations of the Township of Morris Fire Department.
Junior Firemen's Auxiliary Division. There is hereby established within the Morris Township Fire Department a division known as the "Junior Firemen's Auxiliary Division."
[Added 5-1-2004 by Ord. No. 6-04]
No person shall be eligible for membership in the Junior Firemen's Auxiliary who is less than 14 or more than 21 years of age. The persons in this age group desiring to join the Auxiliary shall produce to the Chief of the Department written permission signed and acknowledged by a notary public from their parent or guardian.
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:14-98, there shall be kept on file in the office of the Chief of the Morris Township Fire Department a copy of the rules and regulations governing the activities of the Junior Firemen's Auxiliary.
Fingerprinting and background investigations of all applicants for acceptance in the Fire Department of the Township of Morris shall be conducted as follows:
Each applicant to the Township Fire Department shall furnish a classifiable set of fingerprints to the Township Police Department.
The Police Department is authorized to conduct a field investigation and directed to conduct a criminal records check on each applicant for acceptance in the Fire Department.
The Police Department shall prepare a factual summary of the background investigation and criminal records check of each applicant and transmit such summary to the Fire Chief for the purpose of determining the fitness of the applicant. The summary may contain recommendations to the Fire Chief concerning the suitability for acceptance of an applicant.
Any applicant for the Township Fire Department who is denied acceptance on the basis of the investigation summary referred to in this section may inspect that summary for the purpose of clarifying, explaining or denying the accuracy of its contents.
Except as otherwise provided by law, no Department member or officer of the Fire Department or force shall be removed from his office, employment or position for political reasons or for any cause other than incapacity, misconduct or disobedience of rules and regulations established for the government of the Fire Department and force; nor shall such member or officer be suspended, removed or reduced in rank from or in office, employment or position therein except for just cause, and then only on written charges and hearing in accordance with state statutes and the rules and regulations of the Township of Morris Fire Department; provided, however, that any Department member of the Paid Division who is absent from duty without just cause or leave of absence for a continuous period of five days shall cease to be a member of the Township of Morris Fire Department.
The Fire Chief shall, from time to time, recommend to the Township Committee rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the laws of the state or the ordinances of the Township, for the government and control of the members of the Fire Department, as may be deemed expedient and proper with a view to making the Fire Department and all the officers and members thereof efficient, vigilant, prompt and useful to the Township of Morris. Such rules and regulations shall prescribe the duties of the members of the Fire Department more specifically and may provide such penalties, not inconsistent with law, as may be deemed necessary and expedient for the proper regulation of the Department. All rules and regulations made pursuant hereto shall be in writing with three copies filed in the office of the Township Clerk, and adopted by resolution of the Township Committee, and shall be binding on all persons subject to the jurisdiction of the Department.
A printed copy of such rules and regulations shall be distributed to each fire company and be available at fire headquarters upon request. On adoption, the rules placed in force shall be known as the "Rules and Regulations for the Administration and Operation of the Fire Department of the Township of Morris."
All existing agreements and rules and regulations shall remain in full force and effect until changed or amended pursuant to this article.
All nouns and pronouns in the masculine gender utilized in this article shall be construed to include the female gender.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with this article are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistencies, specifically Ordinance No. 28-78, Ordinance No. 36-78, Ordinance No. 5-82 and Ordinance No. 15-87.
[Adopted 10-18-2006 by Ord. No. 23-06; amended in its entirety 3-18-2009 by Ord. No. 4-09 (Ch. 11, Part 2, of the 1969 Code)]
The purpose of the Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) is to reward active volunteer members of the Township of Morris Fire Department for their loyal, diligent and devoted services to the residents of the Township of Morris.
Each fire company shall assign one company officer to be the Fire Company Coordinator. The Fire Company Coordinator shall be the link to the Department Program Coordinator. Attendance for activities shall be tracked on forms provided by the Department at a company level and forwarded to the Fire Department Coordinator on a monthly basis for review and computation. The Company Coordinator shall post the monthly reports on the company bulletin board.
Each active volunteer member shall be credited annually, on December 31, with points for volunteer services provided to the Township of Morris Fire Department in accordance with the following schedule:
Training courses: 25 points maximum.
Courses less than 20 hours in duration: one point per hour, with a maximum of five points.
Courses of 20 to 45 hours in duration: five points, plus one point per hour for each over the initial 20 hours, with a maximum of 10 points.
Courses over 45 hours in duration: 15 points per course.
Elected or appointed positions: 25 points maximum.
Completion of one-year term as a fire company line officer (Captain, First Lieutenant and Second Lieutenant) equals 25 points.
Completion of one-year term as a fire company administrative representative (President, Vice President, Treasurer or Secretary) equals 10 points. Fire companies shall only submit three positions.
An active volunteer firefighter elected to serve as a delegate to a firefighters' convention shall also be eligible to receive one point per meeting; five points maximum.
Qualified apparatus operators: 25 points maximum.
Those Department members in driver training who have completed at least half of the required training hours within the calendar year shall receive 10 points.
Qualified apparatus operators who qualify or requalify annually and who also either drive to a minimum of five fire calls or continue training of five hours per year shall receive 25 points.
Attendance at meetings: 12 points maximum.
Attendance at fire company monthly meeting, one meeting per month.
Absence and military duty.
In the Chief's discretion, credit may be given for drills or meeting attendance to volunteers who missed specific drills and meetings due to their sickness or unanticipated work requirements.
Time shall be prorated for new members, starting with their entry date.
With respect to any volunteer who has been a volunteer for at least one year and who is a member of the National Guard or Military Reserve, in the event that such member is involuntarily called to active duty or otherwise deployed by the Guard or Reserve (other than regular monthly meetings and summer duties), said volunteer's points earned shall be prorated upward to reflect the total which he would have earned in a full year, had he been available. For example, if a volunteer misses 47 days for guard duty and is therefore available for only 318 days, his point total earned during his 318 days will be multiplied by 365/318 to produce his adjusted score for the year.
Incident response: 100 points maximum. Incident response shall be based on per company calls.
Miscellaneous activities: 10 points maximum.
Community-based programs, three-children events: Easter egg hunt, Halloween and Santa operations.
Also included in miscellaneous activities shall be company fund-raising events: fund drive, pancake breakfast, Christmas tree sales.
Any other events shall have an application submitted to the Fire Chief for approval prior to the event; a maximum of one point per event.
Length of service with the Morris Township Fire Department: 15 points maximum.
No benefits will be paid if the member does not make a minimum of 10% company fire calls to qualify for the Volunteer Incentive Program or the required state-mandated drills or training are not completed by the individual members, i.e.:
Payment shall be made by the 30th of April each year.
This VIP shall take effect January 1, 2009.