[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Harmony as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Harmony Township Volunteer Fire Company of Harmony Township, Warren County, New Jersey, is hereby declared to be the official fire company of Harmony Township.
The officers and active firemen of the Harmony Township Volunteer Fire Company shall be invested with authority to conduct and supervise the activity necessary to extinguish fires and to supervise the necessary activity to prevent the spread of such fires.
The Fire Chief, hereafter referred to as the "Chief," shall be duly elected by the Harmony Township Volunteer Fire Company, and he shall be sworn to carry out the assigned duties as herein outlined before and by the body of the Township Committee sitting in regular meetings. He shall hold office for a term of one year from the date of his election and until his successor shall be elected and qualified.
The Chief of the fire company is hereby empowered and authorized to inspect from time to time any buildings or premises, including private dwellings within the boundaries of Harmony Township, to determine whether fire hazards exist, and he is empowered to order removal when such hazards are found to be present or which, in his judgment, may in the future result in a hazard or condition dangerous to life and property through fire. Thereupon, such hazard or hazards shall be removed, rectified or eliminated within 10 days after notice to the owner has been given.
For this purpose, the Chief of the fire company is hereby empowered to enter and examine all buildings and premises at any reasonable hour.
The Chief of the company may appoint and delegate any fire company officers or any active firemen to make the above-designated inspection. Said officers or firemen must, however, be issued proper credentials authorized and signed by the Chief of the company.
Such inspections of private dwellings shall be made only upon direction or authorization from the Township Committee, and a reported record of findings of such inspections shall be made to said Township Committee. Proper evidence of his authority shall, upon request, be presented by the Chief or designated officer to the owner or occupant of the dwelling.
The penalty for failure to remove or rectify such hazards within the time above specified shall be a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days or community service for a period not to exceed 90 days, or any combination, of the foregoing.
[Amended 8-7-1990 by Ord. No. O:90-15]
It shall be the duty of the Chief in all cases of fire threatening injury to or destruction of property to take prompt and effectual measures and use the means of the company to extinguish the fire. He shall at all times have sole and absolute control and command over the fire apparatus and over the members of the fire company and over all fire apparatus aiding and assisting the company in the event of fire. In the absence of the Chief, his command shall devolve upon the Assistant Chief or may devolve upon the next in line of command.
The Chief, Assistant Chief and firemen, in order of seniority of position, are hereby authorized and empowered to take charge of any burning building or buildings and any other building likely to be burned or threatened with burning and to admit only such and so many persons (not firemen) to said building as they or either of them may deem necessary. Said officers are hereby vested with all the powers, for the time being, of police officers of the Township, and also while proceeding to, attending and returning from a fire in answer to an alarm of fire, to the end that they may and shall preserve the peace and protect all property, both public and private. The Chief and Assistant Chief shall wear, when on duty, hats or helmets, upon which shall be clearly shown the names of their respective offices.
Any person who shall at any time willfully or unnecessarily drive any vehicle upon or over any hose or any other part of any fire apparatus shall, upon conviction of said action before the proper authorities, be subject to punishment as a disorderly person.
[Added 4-28-1987 by Ord. No. 0:87-6]
No person shall become a member of the Harmony Township Volunteer Fire Company unless such person is:
[Added 4-28-1987 by Ord. No. 0:87-6]
An active member of the Harmony Township Volunteer Fire Company may become a member of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association, provided that he or she is:
At least 18 years of age and not over 40 years of age.
A citizen of the United States.
Determined to be physically fit, sound in body and of good health by a licensed New Jersey medical doctor, as set forth on physical examination forms provided by the New Jersey State Firemen's Association.
An active member of the Harmony Township Volunteer Fire Company which, for the purpose of eligibility for the benefits available to members of the New Jersey Firemen's Association, shall require attendance and participation at no less than 60% of fires and fire drills for a period of seven years.
[Added 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 14-2]
Key box requirement.
All properties with the Township of Harmony having an automatic fire alarm system or a fire sprinkler system shall be equipped with a key box. Residential property shall be exempt from this requirement.
All properties within the Township of Harmony having a locked gate or cabled driveway which prohibits access to any structures shall be equipped with a key box.
Key box type. The key box shall be of UL type and approved by the Harmony Township Building Inspector or Fire Official. The key box shall be installed in a location approved by the Harmony Township Building Inspector or Fire Official.
Key box contents. The key box shall contain the following:
Keys to all driveway gates and cables;
Keys to locked points of egress, whether on the interior or exterior of such buildings;
Keys to locked mechanical equipment rooms;
Keys to locked electrical rooms;
Keys to elevator controls;
Keys to other areas as directed by the Township Building Inspector or Fire Official.
Time for compliance. All property owners shall comply within 12 months of the effective date of this section. All newly constructed buildings, not yet occupied, or buildings under construction shall comply immediately. All newly installed gates or cables shall comply at the time the cable or gate is installed.
Penalties. Any property owner violating this section after notice from the Harmony Township Building Inspector or Fire Official shall be subject to a fine of $100. Each day of noncompliance shall constitute a separate violation.
[Added 11-4-2014 by Ord. No. 14-8]
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- EMERGENCY CALL
- Shall be considered a situation requiring immediate medical attention or immediate transportation to a medical facility for medical treatment.
- Any business, heath care facility, nursing home or other organization within the Township of Harmony that calls for the Harmony Township Fire Department, the Harmony Township Emergency Squad or any other emergency squad through mutual aid.
- FALSE EMERGENCY CALL
- Shall be considered a situation where an individual is not in need of immediate transportation to a medical facility, nor is the individual in need of emergency medical care.
- Any inhabitant of the Township of Harmony who calls for the Harmony Township Fire Department, the Harmony Township Emergency Squad or any other emergency squad through mutual aid.
Nursing homes to provide transportation; penalties.
Residential nursing homes shall provide emergency and nonemergency transportation service for residents of nursing homes.
In the event that the Harmony Township Fire Department, the Harmony Township Emergency Squad or any other emergency squad through mutual aid is called by a residential nursing home for nonemergency transportation for a nursing home resident, the nursing home shall be issued a warning.
In the event of a second call in the same calendar year for nonemergency transportation, a penalty in the amount of $200 shall be paid.
In the event of a third or subsequent call in the same calendar year, a penalty of $500 shall be paid.
[Adopted 3-6-2018 by Ord. No. 18-2]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The Harmony Township Volunteer Fire Company.
- A natural person or persons, partnership, corporation, association, firm or other legal entity.
- RESPONSIBLE PARTY
- The person having received emergency services provided by the Fire Department.
The purpose of this article is to provide authority, procedures and requirements to seek collection and reimbursement for the reasonable costs of responding to such incidents by the Fire Department for fire service calls, hazardous material incidents, environmental incidents, and safety and rescue incidents coordinated via Warren County Communications and 911, and those that use hazardous material abatement equipment and materials are also eligible for reimbursement.
The governing body of the Township of Harmony authorizes the Fire Department to recover the real and reasonable costs incurred for firefighting materials or equipment used and expended; the costs of the use of the fire trucks, fire engines, rescue equipment, tankers, boats and other vehicles; the costs of hazardous situation abatement materials involved in any fire, safety and rescue incident or operation, and hazardous abatement incident, including vehicular accidents or fires.
The Township of Harmony recognizes the Fire Department's need to bill for volunteer fire, rescue and hazmat services to aid in the provision of emergency services.
No person requiring emergency services shall be denied services due to lack of insurance or ability to pay.
Any applicable charges for volunteer emergency services rendered shall be billed directly to the user of such services or the user's insurance company.
The Department is hereby authorized to bill and collect costs due to it under this article through a third-party billing agent, provided such agreement with the third-party billing agent is subject to the approval of the Township Committee.
The Fire Department may, either directly or through any third-party billing agency, make arrangements with users of such services and/or their financially responsible party for the installment payments of bills.