City of Fitchburg, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Fitchburg as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Police Department — See Ch. 40.
[Adopted as §§ 7-1 through 7-24 of the 1965 Code]
[Amended 11-12-1968 by Ord. No. 678-68; 9-7-1971 by Ord. No. 88-71; 11-14-1973 by Ord. No. 529-73; 6-20-1978 by Ord. No. 372-78; 1-3-1985 by Ord. No. 440-84; 7-19-1988 by Ord. No. 301-88]
The Fire Department shall have a force of 118 personnel, who shall be classified as follows:
A. 
One Fire Chief.
B. 
Six Deputy Chiefs.
C. 
Four Captains.
D. 
Seventeen Lieutenants.
E. 
One Lieutenant Fire Alarm Superintendent.
[Amended 5-17-1994 by Ord. No. 124-94]
F. 
Eight Firefighter Alarm Operators.
G. 
Seventy-seven firefighters.
H. 
One Senior Clerk, Civilian (male or female).
I. 
One Junior Clerk, Civilian (male or female).
J. 
One Master Mechanic, Civilian.
K. 
One Motor Equipment Repairman or Repairwoman Helper.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
All members of the Fire Department shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Council, and all of such appointments shall be in accordance with the terms of the Civil Service Act.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See MGL c. 31, § 1 et seq.
[Amended 9-5-1972 by Ord. No. 428-72]
The hours of duty of the permanent members of the uniformed fire forces in the City shall be so established by the officer having charge of firefighting that the average weekly hours of duty in any year, other than hours during which such members may be summoned and kept on duty because of conflagration, shall not exceed 48 in number.
A. 
The compensation of the members of the Fire Department shall be fixed by the Council and Mayor, subject to the provisions of the Civil Service Act. Except as provided in Chapter 35 relating to payrolls, pensions and compensation, the compensation to be paid to the members of the Fire Department, whether regular or call, shall be in full for all services rendered by them in their respective offices and employments. Regular members shall be entitled to compensation at the rates named only for days and periods of actual service, except when such members are on their annual vacation and except as to their days off.
B. 
The Chief of the Fire Department, if a fire is in progress during any hours of duty or if any alarm of fire has been sounded therein, shall have full authority to keep on all members of the Department without additional compensation. In case of conflagration, the Chief shall have full authority to summon and keep on duty all members of the fire-fighting force because of such conflagration without additional compensation.
[Amended 9-5-1972 by Ord. No. 428-72]
There is hereby established within the Fire Department a Fire Administration Board, which shall consist of the Deputy Fire Chiefs. Such Board shall assist the Chief and staff units as to the following matters:
A. 
Establishing and enforcing administrative departmental policies.
B. 
Prevention of loss of life and damage to property in the event of fire.
C. 
Observation and analysis of all operations and functions of the Department and the study of methods which may improve departmental efficiency.
D. 
Establishing of disciplinary policies to ensure the proper conduct and efficiency of all members of the Department.
E. 
The satisfactory maintaining of all station houses, apparatus, vehicles, equipment and other property of the Department used by and pertaining to the Department.
F. 
Enforcing of all laws, ordinances, orders and rules and regulations which the Department has the authority to execute.
G. 
Establishing methods and training practices to ensure the most efficient control for the extinguishment of fires.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
Every person appointed to the Fire Department as either a permanent or call member shall qualify as such with the City Clerk within 30 days after notice of his or her appointment and receive a certificate of his or her appointment, duly signed by the City Clerk, and present the same to the Chief when he or she first reports for duty.
Captains in the Fire Department shall be responsible to the Chief Engineer for the discipline of their respective companies and shall enforce all laws, ordinances, rules, regulations and orders, reporting forthwith in writing the name of any member guilty of disobedience thereof or neglect of duty. They shall make true and accurate reports of all members, with their ages, residences and occupations, and the condition of the apparatus or property under their care whenever requested to do so.
No person shall be a member of the Fire Department who is less than 21 years of age or who is not at the time a resident of the City.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
When any officer or member of the Fire Department ceases to be a legal resident of the City, he or she shall resign from the Department, and failure so to resign shall be sufficient cause for his or her removal.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
Each person admitted to the Fire Department shall be and remain a member of the company to which he or she is assigned until he or she is transferred to another company or discharged. No member shall be transferred from one company to another except by order of the Chief Engineer.
Each company in the Fire Department may adopt such lawful constitution, bylaws and regulations for its government as the Chief Engineer may approve, subordinate to all rules and regulations made or approved by the Council.
No company shall draw water from a reservoir or fire hydrant, except in case of fire, without special permission from the Commissioner of Public Works.
No engine, hose or hook and ladder carriage shall be taken from the City without permission from one of the Engineers in charge, nor shall any part of the apparatus or property of the Fire Department be taken from the City, except to a fire, without permission from the Mayor.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
If any officer or member, except in case of sickness, shall be absent for more than 1/3 of the fires or alarms of fires occurring during one month and such absences shall exceed five in number, it shall be deemed good cause for his or her discharge from the Fire Department, as shall also any intentional violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
Subject to the provisions of law relative to veterans and civil service employees, any officer or member of the Fire Department who shall neglect or refuse to perform his or her duty or who shall be guilty of any disorderly conduct or of disobedience to any superior officer or of the rules and regulations of the Department may be suspended from duty by the Chief Engineer, who shall, within seven days thereafter, report in writing his or her action to the Mayor, stating the name of the person suspended and the cause therefor, and the Mayor may continue such suspension for any definite period or remove him or her from the Department.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
B. 
No person so suspended from duty shall act as a member of the Fire Department or be entitled to the pay or to any of the privileges of the Department during such suspension.
C. 
The Chief Engineer shall have the power to reinstate in cases which have not been reported to the Mayor.
D. 
In all cases of removal from office or from the Department, the name of the person removed, with a statement of the reason therefor, shall be entered upon the books of the Chief Engineer.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
It shall be the duty of all firemen and firewomen and regular employees of the Fire Department to cause a written report to be made to the company officer, who shall forward a written report to the Chief, of all injuries, both minor and major, and of all sickness arising from the duties of their employment. Such reports shall be made immediately after the injury is sustained. Cases of sickness shall be reported within seven days after the occurrence of the cause of the same.
[Amended 9-28-1971 by Ord. No. 640-71; 10-3-1972 by Ord. No. 510-72; 12-7-1976 by Ord. No. 684-76]
A. 
The firefighter, when on duty, shall wear such uniform, hat and badge as the Mayor shall determine.
B. 
Every regular firefighter shall be allowed a sum of $225 per annum for such firefighter uniform clothing items as shall be determined by the Chief of the Fire Department. Such allowance shall be made to each fireman or firewoman as determined necessary by the Chief of the Fire Department.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
C. 
Each firefighter, upon appointment to the Department on a full-time basis, shall receive a special uniform allowance of $300 for the initial purchase of such uniform items as shall be determined by the Chief of the Fire Department.
A. 
The Chief, Acting Chief or, in their absence, the Mayor, is hereby authorized to extend aid to another city or town in extinguishing a fire therein upon request and on such terms and conditions as the Chief, subject to the approval of the Council and Mayor, may from time to time establish.
B. 
No company shall leave the City in case of fire in a neighboring city or town except as provided in this section.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 7-19 of the 1965 Code, Work in course of employment, which section immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 11-12-1968 by Ord. No. 679-68.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
Any regular call man or call woman of the Fire Department may provide a person who is satisfactory to the Chief to act as a substitute for him or her.
No gambling shall be allowed in any building occupied by any company in the Fire Department, nor shall any spirituous liquors be used therein.
No person shall drive any vehicle upon or over any hose pipe in use at any fire except by direction or permission of some officer of the Fire or Police Department, nor open any signal box connected with the fire alarm telephonic system except in case of fire, or interfere therewith by breaking, cutting, injuring or defacing it in any way, or tamper or meddle therewith or with any part thereof, nor interfere with any pole supporting any wire of the fire alarm telephonic system by breaking, cutting, injuring or defacing it or otherwise, nor interfere with any such wires except as otherwise provided.
No person shall obstruct or interfere with the use of any fire hydrant in the City in any way or manner, except by permission of the Chief Engineer and the Commissioner of Public Works. And every day such unauthorized obstruction or interference shall continue shall be deemed to be a separate offense.
Persons, other than members of the Fire Department, who neglect or refuse to obey the orders or directions of the officer in command at any fire or to render assistance if ordered by him, shall be punished as provided in § 1-9.
[Adopted as §§ 7-25 through 7-37 of the 1965 Code]
The Fire Department shall be under the supervision of the Chief Engineer, who shall also hold the office of the Chief of the Fire Department.
The Chief Engineer shall be appointed and shall serve in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Act. His appointment shall be made by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Council.
The compensation of the Chief Engineer shall be fixed by the Council, with the approval of the Mayor and in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Act. He shall not engage in any other business or occupation.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
The Chief shall at all times be in control and have command of the Fire Department and of all the officers and members in the Department and may, subject to the approval of the City Council and the Mayor, establish rules and regulations for its government and discipline; he or she shall have the duty and be responsible for the prevention of loss of life and damage to property in the City by fire; he or she shall be responsible for the discipline, proper conduct and efficiency of all members of the Department, uniformed or non-uniformed, and, under the direction of the Public Safety Committee of the City Council, shall have control of all station houses, apparatus, vehicles, equipment and other property used by or pertaining to the Department and owned by the City; he or she shall, at his or her discretion, assign, transfer or detail members of the Department to various duties, companies and divisions whenever in his or her opinion it is necessary to maintain a high standard of efficiency in the Department; he or she shall require that all laws, ordinances, orders and rules and regulations which the Department has the authority to execute are strictly enforced.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
The Chief Engineer shall have the sole control and command at all times over all other Engineers and all members of the Fire Department and at fires over all other persons and shall direct all other measures for the extinguishing of fires, the protection of property and preservation of order thereat, and in his or her absence the Engineer next in rank who is present shall execute the duties of his or her office with full powers of Chief Engineer. The officer in command of the company which first arrives at a fire shall be the officer in command with like powers until one of the Engineers is present.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 7-30 of the 1965 Code, Delegation of duties, which section immediately followed this section, was repealed 11-12-1968 by Ord. No. 679-68.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
The Chief Engineer shall keep a record of all call men and call women, and substitute call men and call women, which shall show the name, date of entering service and number of calls responded to by each of them.
The Chief Engineer shall, during each month, present all bills against the Department to the Committee on Public Safety of City Council for its approval.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
The Chief Engineer shall, as often as need be, recommend to the Mayor all needful enginemen and enginewomen, drivers, horsemen and horsewomen and hook and ladder men and women for appointment in accordance with law.
The Chief Engineer shall keep true and exact rolls of the Fire Department by companies, specifying the name, the age, occupation, residence and date of admission and discharge of each member, and also an accurate account of all property belonging to the Department. He shall keep a record of all losses and accidents by fire, stating all ascertainable causes thereof, the number of buildings and description of the property destroyed or injured, the amount of insurance thereon and the names of the owners.
A. 
Except as otherwise provided, the Chief Engineer shall cause an examination to be made of all places where combustible or explosive materials or compounds, detonators or other articles of any kind liable to cause fire are placed or kept. When he or she deems that the same are so placed or kept as to be liable to cause a fire, he or she shall order the occupant or tenant of such place to remove them or to adopt such suitable safeguards as he or she may require; and if such tenant or occupant neglects or refuses to do so, he or she shall cause the same to be removed at the expense of such tenant or occupant. Other Engineers and permanent members shall make such inspections when ordered by the Chief Engineer.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
B. 
Except as otherwise provided, he or she shall also take notice and cause an inspection to be made of every building or place where any steam engine or other engine is used and of all buildings in process of erection or alteration and make a record of such buildings, places or conditions as in his or her judgment may for any reason be liable to cause fire or be dangerous in case of fire and report the same forthwith to the Mayor. Whenever in his or her opinion any chimney, flues, hearth, furnace, boiler, engine, stove, oven, smoke pipe, fire frame or other fixture, or any explosive or flammable or combustible fluid or compound or material, or any receptacle containing it, or any other condition liable to cause fire or to be dangerous in case of fire, should be altered, repaired, remedied or removed, he or she shall forthwith notify and order the owner, tenant or occupant of the place where the same is situated to alter, repair, remedy, remove or suitably safeguard the same as he or she shall direct, and in case of any neglect or refusal to do so, he or she shall cause the same to be done at the expense of the owner, tenant or occupant, who shall further be liable to a penalty not exceeding $50 for such neglect or refusal.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
C. 
Any person obstructing the Chief Engineer in carrying out the provisions of this section shall be punished as provided in § 1-9.
The Chief Engineer shall determine to whom shall be entrusted the keys of the signal boxes connected with the fire alarm telephonic system and shall prepare rules in accordance with which alarms of fire shall be given.
The following rates are to be charged as fees for the City Fire Department ambulance service within the commonwealth:
A. 
A base charge of $85 plus $3 per loaded mile.
[Amended 4-7-1982 by Ord. No. 90-82]
B. 
The Chief of the Fire Department shall furnish the City Treasurer with a list of the people transported monthly and the fee to be charged, and the City Collector shall bill and collect the same.