[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Washington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-12-1962; amended in its entirety 3-19-1996 by Ord. No. 96-2]
There is hereby authorized and established a Fire Department in and for the Township of Washington, in the County of Warren and State of New Jersey, to be known as the "Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department," said Volunteer Fire Department to consist of one company.
The Volunteer Fire Department shall be headed by a Fire Chief, who shall be chosen as provided in the bylaws of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department, which shall be amended from time to time.
While there are classes of membership within the Volunteer Are Department under its bylaws for firefighters who serve (probation, active, except active and reserve), no person shall hereafter become a firefighter member of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department unless he/she is 18 years or older, a resident of the Township of Washington for a period of at least six months prior to making application, unless a waiver is granted pursuant to this section, and a citizen of the United States. At the time of application for membership, the prospective firefighter shall fill out an application form. He/she shall also, at the time of the filing said application, supply all information necessary to conduct a police background check for possible criminal activities, a New Jersey driver's license number, if licensed, to be used to confirm the validity of the license and the driver's driving record and a statement that the person agrees to abide by all township ordinances and Department rules and regulations governing the operation of the Volunteer Fire Department. If prior firefighting experience is claimed, permission to contact the former fire department(s) for recommendation and copies of training records will be provided by the person seeking membership.
[Amended 6-15-1999 by Ord. No. 99-7]
Every applicant must undergo a physical examination by a medical doctor which establishes that the applicant is physically fit to perform the duties of a firefighter. Such proof shall consist of various test results and conclusions therefrom and a certification from the examining physician that said applicant for membership has been found to be fit to undertake the duties and responsibilities of a firefighter. The Volunteer Fire Department reserves the right to have any probation, active, reserve and/or exempt active member examined by a medical doctor chosen by Volunteer Fire Department. If the doctor determines that the member should not be a firefighter (i.e., a person who responds to the scene of a fire), the Volunteer Fire Department shall immediately place the member in a different class of membership.
[Amended 6-15-1999 by Ord. No. 99-7]
Every candidate for membership in the Washington Township Fire Department shall make application to the Department on forms supplied by the secretary of the Department. Before any application is acted upon by the Volunteer Fire Department, the Fire Chief will determine whether there is a need to seek a residency waiver (as noted below) and advise the applicant whether a request for the waiver will be made. If no residency waiver is required or after a waiver has been granted by the Township Committee, the application will be presented to the membership of the Volunteer Fire Department for approval. An affirmative vote of a majority of the active, exempt active and reserve membership present shall be sufficient to elect such a candidate to membership. After the application has been approved by the Volunteer Fire Department, the Fire Chief shall sign the application, which indicates the applicant has complied with the requirements for membership in the Volunteer Fire Department and the applicant is being recommended for confirmation by the Township Committee. The application with the results of the physical examination will be forwarded to the Township Committee for confirmation. After the Township Committee acts upon the application, the application, with the physical examination results, will be returned to the Volunteer Fire Department.
A waiver of the residency requirements may be granted by the Washington Township Committee, upon written recommendations of the Fire Chief, for the following types of membership applications:
An application for reinstatement to firefighting membership of a former member of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department who has moved back into Washington Township;
An application for firefighting membership of an active members of another fire department who has moved into and become a resident of Washington Township; or
An application for dual membership of a member of another fire department who does not reside in Washington Township; however, because of employment in the township is able to respond to calls during working hours.
A firefighting member of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department who moves into an adjacent municipality and whose residence is within two miles of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department primary coverage area or the Township of Washington municipal border does not need a residency waiver as long as he/she continues to meet the duty and attendance requirements of his/her firefighting classification, as provided for in the bylaws of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department.
While there are classes of membership within the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department, under its bylaws, for non-firefighting members who serve, no person shall become a junior member of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department unless he/she is at least 16 years of age and a resident of Washington Township for at least six months prior to making application. Applications shall be made to and approved by the Washington Volunteer Township Fire Department and confirmed by the Washington Township Committee as outlined in § 13-2C with the following exceptions: there shall be no physical examinations required; and, there shall be a signed permission form from the prospective member's parent(s)/guardian(s) permitting membership. The application form shall require the prospective junior member(s) to note any medical conditions and/or medications that may affect him/her during his/her junior activities. The application form shall be signed by a parent or guardian granting permission to join the Volunteer Fire Department as a junior member.
[Added 6-15-1999 by Ord. No. 99-7]
The names of all members of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department shall be entered on a roll of firefighters to be maintained by the Clerk of the Township of Washington. The secretary of the Volunteer Fire Department will, in January of each year, provide the Township Clerk with the roster of the Department, including names and addresses of all firefighting members.
Every member of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department shall, in each and every year, perform at least the duty as required for their firefighting classification, as provided in the bylaws of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department, said duty to include attendance and duty at meetings, fires and drills. A record shall be maintained of each member's duty and attendance by the Chief of the Fire Department or the officer designated in the bylaws of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department. A report thereof shall be made by the Chief of the Volunteer Fire Department annually to the Township Committee of the Township of Washington.
Exemption certificates may be issued to members of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department who shall have served on active duty for seven years under municipal control, pursuant to the provisions of the laws of New Jersey.
There is hereby established within the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department a Bureau of Fire Prevention which shall be constituted and shall fulfill the duties set forth in Chapter 72, entitled "Fire Prevention," of this Code.
[Adopted 8-19-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-07]
A petition has been signed by at least 5% of the registered voters and has been served upon the Township Clerk of Washington Township and the Township now seeks to designate a territorial location for use as a fire district.
The Township is presently served by the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Company. There is hereby created Fire District No. 1 in the Township of Washington, County of Warren, State of New Jersey, the boundaries of which shall consist of all property located within the corporate limits of the Township of Washington, as delineated on the Official Map of the Township, as drawn by Maser Consulting, dated November 30, 2002.
The Township Committee, by resolution, shall provide for the election of a Board of Fire Commissioners for Fire District No. 1 to consist of five persons who are residents of Washington Township and shall specify the time and place for such election.
The Commissioners so elected and their successors shall be a body corporate, to be known as the “Commissioners of Fire District No. 1 in the Township of Washington, County of Warren.” The said body corporate shall have the power to acquire real and personal property for its purposes, may adopt and use a corporate seal, may sue for or be sued and shall have such powers, duties and functions as are usual and necessary for said purposes and are set forth in N.J.S.A 40A:14-70, et seq., as the same may be amended from time to time.