[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Buchanan 11-4-1997 as §§ 38-12 and 38-13 of the 1997 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town of Buchanan Fire and Rescue is officially recognized as the Fire Department serving the Town of Buchanan, and the duties of fire fighting and fire prevention in the Town are delegated to such Department. The Town of Buchanan Fire and Rescue shall be responsible for the program of fire defense for the citizens and property within the Town of Buchanan.
The Town Board shall appropriate funds for the Town of Buchanan Fire and Rescue operations and for such apparatus and equipment for the use by Fire and Rescue as the Board may deem expedient and necessary to maintain efficiency and properly protect life and property from fire.
The primary objective of the fire defense program is to serve all citizens, without prejudice or favoritism, by safeguarding, collectively and individually, their lives against the effects of fires and explosions.
The second objective of the fire defense program is to safeguard the general economy and welfare of the community by preventing major conflagrations and the destruction by fire of industries and businesses.
The third objective of the fire defense program is to protect the property of all citizens against the effects of fire and explosions. All property deserves equal protection regardless of location or monetary value.
The Town of Buchanan Fire and Rescue shall be organized and governed pursuant to its bylaws.
The Town of Buchanan Fire and Rescue shall adopt bylaws for its control, management, and governance and for regulating the business and proceedings of the Department, which bylaws, after adoption by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Department, shall not become effective until approved by the Town Board. Any amendments to bylaws shall also require a two-thirds vote of members and approval by the Town Board.
The Town of Buchanan Fire and Rescue shall be under the general management and supervision of the Town Board. The organization and internal regulation of the Department shall be governed by the provisions of this chapter and by such bylaws adopted by the Department as are approved by the Town Board, except as otherwise provided by law or ordinance.
Fire Chief job description. The duties, responsibilities, training, experience, abilities and other requirements of the Fire Chief are detailed in the job description maintained and approved by the Town Board for the position. The job description may be updated or changed by the Town Board at any time.
Command at fires. The incident commander shall have complete command of and entire responsibility for all fire-fighting operations, plan the control of the same, direct the action of the Department when it arrives at a fire, observe that the Department does its duty, grant leaves of absence at a fire when he/she deems it proper and see that the fire-fighting apparatus is kept in proper condition at all times.
Enforcement of fire prevention and protection ordinances. The Fire Chief shall enforce Chapter 290, Fire Prevention, of the Code of the Town of Buchanan.
Fiscal responsibility. Every year the Fire Chief shall file with the Town Administrator/Clerk a detailed estimate of the appropriations needed for the conduct of the Department operations during the ensuing fiscal year.
The Fire Chief, or the Chief's designee, shall be the Fire Inspector of the Town of Buchanan and shall have the power to appoint one or more Deputy Fire Inspectors and shall perform all duties required of the fire inspectors by the laws of the state.
For any inspection by the Fire Inspectors or Deputy Fire Inspector(s) that reveals a fire hazard, the Fire Inspector or Deputy Fire Inspector(s) may serve a notice, in writing, upon the owner or occupant of the property giving said owner or occupant 48 hours in which to remove said hazard. In the event that said fire hazard is not removed within 48 hours, it shall be deemed a nuisance and the Fire Inspector or Deputy Fire Inspector(s) shall have the same removed by the Town and the cost of removal reported to the Town Administrator/Clerk and placed as a special charge against the property.
While acting as the Fire Inspector or Deputy Fire Inspector, the Department shall have the right and authority to enter any building or upon any premises in the Town of Buchanan at all reasonable hours for the purpose of making inspections or investigations.
The Fire Inspector or Deputy Fire Inspector(s) is required to inspect all buildings, premises, and public thoroughfares, except the interiors of private dwellings, for the purpose of ascertaining and causing to be corrected any conditions liable to cause a fire, or any violations of law or ordinance relating to the fire hazard or to the prevention of fires. Such inspections shall be made at least once in six months in all of the territory served by the Department, and not less than once in three months in such territory as the Town Board has designated or thereafter designates as within the fire limits or as a congested area subject to conflagration, and oftener as the Fire Chief orders. Each six-month period shall begin on January 1 and July 1, and each three-month period on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 of each year.
The Fire Inspector, Deputy Fire Inspector(s) or officers of the Department shall make the inspections required by § 101.14, Wis. Stats., and shall comply with the provisions thereof.
It shall be the duty of the Fire Inspector or Deputy Fire Inspector(s) to keep records of all inspections.
The incident commander in command at any fire is hereby vested with full and complete police authority at fires. Any officer of the Department may cause the arrest of any person failing to give the right-of-way to the Department in responding to a fire.
The incident commander may prescribe certain limits in the vicinity of any fire within which no persons, except firefighters and police officers and those admitted by order of any officer of the Department, shall be permitted to come.
The incident commander shall have the power to cause the removal of any property whenever it shall become necessary for the preservation of such property from fire or to prevent the spreading of fire or to protect adjoining property, and during the progress of any fire he/she shall have the power to cause the removal of all wires or other facilities and the turning off of all electricity or other services where the same impedes the work of the Department during the progress of a fire.
The Town of Buchanan Fire and Rescue shall investigate the cause, origin, and circumstances of every fire occurring in the Town by which property has been destroyed or damaged and, so far as possible, shall determine whether the fire is the result of deliberate intent, carelessness or design. Investigations shall begin immediately upon occurrence of a fire. The Fire Chief shall notify the Fire Investigator of all incidents requiring an investigation. The Fire Investigator shall immediately take charge of the physical evidence, shall further cooperate with local, county, state or federal authorities in the collection of evidence and in the prosecution of the case. Every fire shall be reported, in writing, to the Department within 10 days after the occurrence of the same by the Department officer in command of the fire. The report shall be in the form prescribed by the Fire Chief and shall contain a statement of all facts relating to the cause, origin, and circumstances of such fire, the extent of the damage thereof, and the insurance upon such property, and such other information as may be required, including the injury, death, or rescue of persons.
Open record requests to the Town of Buchanan Fire and Rescue shall be filed with the Town Administrator/Clerk and, with the exception of open record requests for fire reports, shall be completed by the Town Administrator/Clerk according to the provisions of Ch. 19, Wis. Stats. The Fire Chief shall be responsible for open records requests for fire reports with copy to the Town Administrator/Clerk.
Purpose and authority. This section is enacted pursuant to the authority of § 66.0608, Wis. Stats., for the purpose of authorizing volunteer funds to be held by the Town of Buchanan Fire and Rescue.
Authorization. The Town Board of the Town of Buchanan does hereby authorize the Town of Buchanan Fire and Rescue Fire Chief to deposit volunteer funds of the Department in an account in the name of the Department in any public depository in which other Town funds are being held by the Town Treasurer. Prior to any fund-raising, the Town Attorney shall review the legality of fund-raising methods.
Control of funds. The Department, through its Fire Chief, is granted exclusive control over the expenditures of funds contained within this segregated account.
Limitations and requirements. The following limitations and requirements shall apply to the handling and disbursement of funds from the account:
Expenditures. Expenditures withdrawn from the account may be made only upon majority vote of the Department members at a duly noticed meeting of the Department. Such withdrawals and expenditures may be made for any purpose that promotes the ability of the Department to provide services for which it is organized.
Accounting. The Fire Chief shall provide the Town Board with quarterly statements at the end of March, June, September, and December of each calendar year. The statements shall include a detailed itemization of all receipts, expenditures, and the balance on hand at the end of the quarter. The source of all funds and the identity of the payee for each disbursement shall be provided.
Audit. Department accounts shall be included in the annual audit of Town funds.
Ownership of funds. Funds shall remain the property of the Town of Buchanan until funds are dispersed.