[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater 5-5-1981 by Ord. No. 81-3 (Ch. VIIA of the 1971 Revised General Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby adopted by the Stillwater Township Committee the fire control measures and regulations as herein set forth for the purpose of controlling conditions which could impede or interfere with fire-suppression forces.
The Fire Official, or his duly authorized representatives as may be in charge at the scene of a fire or other emergency involving the protection of life and/or property, is empowered to direct such operations as may be necessary to extinguish or control any suspected or reported fires, gas leaks or other hazardous conditions or situations or to take any other action necessary in the reasonable performance of his duty. The Fire Official may prohibit any person, vehicle or object from approaching the scene and may remove or cause to be removed from the scene any person, vehicle or object which may impede or interfere with the operations of the Fire Department. The Fire Official may remove or cause to be removed any person, vehicle or object from hazardous areas. All persons ordered to leave a hazardous area shall do so immediately and shall not reenter the area until authorized to do so by the Fire Official.
It shall be unlawful to interfere with, attempt to interfere with, conspire to interfere with, obstruct or restrict the mobility of or block the path of travel of any Fire Department emergency vehicle in any way or to interfere with, attempt to interfere with, conspire to interfere with, obstruct or hamper any Fire Department operation.
A person shall not willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of the Fire Official or interfere with the compliance attempts of another individual.
A vehicle shall not be driven or propelled over any unprotected fire hose of the Fire Department when laid down on any street, alleyway, private drive or any other vehicular roadway without the consent of the Fire Official in command of said operation.
Authorized emergency vehicles shall be restricted to those which are defined and authorized under the laws of the State of New Jersey.
Upon the approach of any authorized emergency vehicle giving audible and visual signal, the operator of every other vehicle shall immediately drive the same to a position as near as possible and parallel to the right-hand edge or curb of the street or roadway, clear of any intersection, and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle or vehicles shall have passed, unless otherwise directed by the Fire Official or a police officer.
It shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle, other than one on official business, to follow closer than 300 feet from any fire apparatus traveling in response to a fire alarm, or to drive any vehicle within the block or immediate area where fire apparatus has stopped in answer to a fire alarm.
A person shall not, without proper authorization from the Fire Official in charge of said Fire Department emergency equipment, cling to, attach himself to, climb upon or into, board or swing upon any Fire Department emergency vehicle, whether the same is in motion or at rest, or sound the siren, horn, bell or other sound-producing device thereon or manipulate or tamper with, or attempt to manipulate or tamper with, any levers, valves, switches, starting devices, brakes, pumps or any equipment or protective clothing on, or a part of, any Fire Department emergency vehicle.
It shall be unlawful for any person to damage or deface, or attempt or conspire to damage or deface, any Fire Department emergency vehicle at any time or to injure, or attempt to injure or conspire to injure, Fire Department personnel while performing departmental duties.
The driver of any emergency vehicle, as defined in § 186-5 of this chapter, shall not sound the siren thereon or have the front red lights on or disobey any existing traffic regulation, except when said vehicle is responding to an emergency call or when responding to, but not upon returning from, a fire. Tactical strategies, such as but not restricted to move-ups, do not constitute an emergency call. The driver of an emergency vehicle may:
Park or stand irrespective of the provisions of existing traffic regulations.
Proceed past a red or stop signal or other sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation.
Exceed the prima facie speed limit so long as he does not endanger life or property.
Disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions.
The exemptions herein granted to an emergency vehicle shall apply only when the driver of any such vehicle while in motion sounds an audible signal by bell, siren or exhaust whistle as may be reasonably necessary, and when the vehicle is equipped with at least one lighted lamp displaying a red light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of 500 feet to the front of such vehicle.
It shall be unlawful to obscure from view, damage, deface, obstruct or restrict the access to any fire hydrant or any Fire Department connection for the pressurization of fire-suppression systems, including fire hydrants and Fire Department connections that are located on public or private streets and access lanes or on private property. If, upon the expiration of the time mentioned in a notice of violation, obstructions or encroachments are not removed, the Fire Official shall proceed to remove the same. Cost incurred in the performance of necessary work shall be paid from the municipal treasury on certificate of the Fire Official and with the approval of the chief administrative official; and the legal authority of the municipality shall institute appropriate action for the recovery of such costs.
A person shall not use or operate any fire hydrant intended for use of the Fire Department for fire-suppression purposes unless such person first secures a permit for such use from the Fire Official and the water company having jurisdiction. This section shall not apply to the use of such hydrants by a person employed by, and authorized to make such use by, the water company having jurisdiction.
The Fire Official shall recommend to the chief administrative official of the municipality the location or relocation of new or existing fire hydrants and the placement or replacement of inadequate water mains located upon public property and deemed necessary to provide an adequate fire flow and distribution pattern. A fire hydrant shall not be placed into or removed from service until approved by the Fire Official.
All new and existing shipyards, oil storage plants, lumberyards, amusement or exhibition parks and educational or institutional complexes and similar occupancies and uses involving high fire or life hazards and which are located more than 150 feet from a public street or which require quantities of water beyond the capabilities of the public water distribution system shall be provided with properly placed fire hydrants. Such fire hydrants shall be capable of supplying fire flows as required by the Fire Official and shall be connected to a water system in accordance with accepted engineering practices. The Fire Official shall designate and approve the number and location of fire hydrants. The Fire Official may require the installation of sufficient fire hose and equipment housed in accordance with the approved rules and may require the establishment of a trained fire brigade when the hazard involved requires such measures. Private hydrants shall not be placed into or removed from service until approved by the Fire Official.
A person shall not obstruct, remove, tamper with or otherwise disturb any fire hydrant or fire appliance required to be installed or maintained under the provisions of the Fire Prevention Code, except for the purpose of extinguishing fire, training or testing purposes, recharging or making necessary repairs or when permitted by the Fire Official. Whenever a fire appliance is removed as herein permitted, it shall be replaced or reinstalled as soon as the purpose for which it was removed has been accomplished. Defective and nonapproved fire appliances or equipment shall be replaced or repaired as directed by the Fire Official.
A person shall not sell, trade, loan or give away any form, type or kind of fire extinguisher which is not approved by the Fire Official or which is not in proper working order or the contents of which do not meet the requirements of the Fire Official. The requirements of this section shall not apply to the sale, trade or exchange of obsolete or damaged equipment for junk, and said units are permanently disfigured or marked with a permanent sign identifying the unit as junk.
A person or persons shall not erect, construct, place or maintain any bumps, fences, gates, chains, bars, pipes, wood or metal horses or any other type of obstruction in or on any street, within the boundaries of the municipality. The word "street," as used in this chapter, shall mean any roadway accessible to the public for vehicular traffic, including but not limited to private streets or access lanes, as well as all public streets and highways within the boundaries of the municipality.
[Added 12-19-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-14]
Provided that the Stillwater Township Fire Department personnel have the requisite training required to use hazardous material products, the Stillwater Township Fire Department may, but is not required to, mitigate the effects of hazardous material released, discharged or deposited upon or into any property or facilities within the Township at a scene to which the Fire Department has responded. The following described persons shall be jointly and severally liable to the Township for payment of all costs incurred by the Township and/or the Fire Department for products and materials used for such mitigation activities:
The person or persons whose acts or omissions, including but not limited to acts or omissions involving negligence, willful acts or omissions, proximately caused such release, discharge or deposit of hazardous materials;
The person or persons who owned or had custody or control of the hazardous substance or waste at the time of such release, discharge, or deposit, without regard to fault or proximate cause;
The person or persons who owned or had custody or control of the container which held such hazardous waste or substance at the time or immediately prior to such release, discharge or deposit, without regard to fault of proximate cause; and
The person or persons who owned or controlled the land on which the hazardous material was deposited or from which the hazardous material was released or discharged.
The person(s) described in Subsection A of this section shall be liable to the Township or Fire Department for all costs incurred for the products and materials used for the cleanup. The responsible person(s) shall pay the invoice for the charges within 15 days of their receipt of the invoice.
For purposes of this section, "hazardous material" means any material that, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical or chemical characteristics, poses a significant present or potential hazard to human health and safety or to the environment if released into the workplace or the environment. This includes, but is not limited to, items that are determined to be hazardous materials under applicable ordinances, statutes, laws, codes, directives and/or regulations (environmental laws) including, but not limited to, those issued by the State of New Jersey and the United States of America, including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and/or the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
For purposes of this section, costs incurred by the Township shall include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, the cost of any materials and products used.
The remedies provided in this section shall be in addition to any other remedies provided by the law.
The authority to recover costs under this section shall not include actual fire suppression services which are normally or usually provided by the Fire Department.
By assisting with the cleanup of hazardous materials, neither the Township nor the Fire Department, nor any of their officers, governing body members, employees and/or volunteers, shall be subject to any liability as the result of their acts or omissions. Nothing within this section shall be construed as a waiver or relinquishment of any statutory or common law immunities or exceptions from liability, including, but not limited to, those available under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. 59:1-1 et seq., that may apply to the Township, the Fire Department and/or any of their officers, governing body members, employees and/or volunteers.
Notwithstanding anything in this section to the contrary, nothing within this section shall absolve the person responsible for cleanup of any hazardous materials under the section from complying with all environmental laws, including complying with all orders and directives from all county, state and/or federal governments or agencies, including but not limited to, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and/or the United States Environmental Protection Agency.