[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Vineland 3-25-1986 by Ord. No. 86-18 (Ch. 31 of the 1990 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited and referred to as the "Emergency Management Ordinance of the City of Vineland."
It is the intent and purpose of this chapter to establish an Emergency Management Office that will ensure the complete and efficient utilization of all of the City's facilities to combat disaster resulting from major emergencies; natural, man-made or nuclear disasters; or enemy attack.
The City of Vineland Office of Emergency Management will be the coordinating agency for all activity in connection with emergency management. It will be the instrument through which the Director/Coordinator may exercise the authority and discharge the responsibilities vested in him in the New Jersey Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act of 1942, P.L. 1942, c. 251, as amended and as supplemented by this chapter.
This chapter will not relieve any City department of the responsibilities or authority given to it by ordinance, nor will it adversely affect the work of any volunteer agency authorized for relief in disaster emergencies.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the people of the City of Vineland and to aid in the prevention of damage to and the destruction of property during any emergency as herein defined by prescribing a course of conduct for the civilian population of this City during such emergency and by centralizing control of all civilian activities having to do with such emergency.
[Amended 12-9-1997 by Ord. No. 97-88; 10-10-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-84]
There is hereby established within the Fire Department the Office of Emergency Management Services, the head of which shall be the Coordinator of the Office of Emergency Management Services. The Coordinator of the Office of Emergency Management Services and related personnel are hereby assigned to the Fire Department.
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation of this chapter:
- The Coordinator of the City of Vineland Office of Emergency Management, appointed as prescribed in this chapter.
- An unusual incident resulting from natural or unnatural causes which endangers the health, safety or resources of the residents of this City and which is or may become too large in scope or unusual in type to be handled in its entirety by regular City operating services.
- Includes "disaster" and "war emergency" as defined in this section.
- EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FORCES
- The employees, equipment and City facilities of all departments, boards, institutions and commissions; and, in addition, it shall include all volunteer personnel, equipment and facilities contributed by or obtained from volunteer persons or agencies.
- EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT VOLUNTEER
- Any person duly registered, identified and appointed by the Coordinator of the Office of Emergency Management and assigned to participate in the emergency management activity.
- LOCAL DISASTER EMERGENCY
- Includes any disaster or the immediate imminence thereof resulting from natural or unnatural causes other than enemy attack and limited to the extent that action by the Governor under the New Jersey Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act is not required.
- Includes plans, programs and other emergency procedures deemed essential to civil defense.
- Contributing a service, equipment or facilities to the emergency management organization without remuneration.
- WAR EMERGENCY
- Includes any disaster occurring anywhere within the City as the result of enemy attack or the imminent danger thereof.
The Mayor shall appoint not more than 15 members to an Emergency Management Council. Members shall hold office at the will and pleasure of the Mayor. The Emergency Management Coordinator shall be a member and shall serve as Chairman of the Emergency Management Council. The Emergency Management Council shall assist the City in establishing the various local volunteer support needed to meet the requirements of all emergency management and disaster-control activities in accordance with rules and regulations established by the Governor in pursuance of the provisions of P.L. 1942, c. 251, as amended by this chapter.
The Mayor shall appoint an Emergency Management Coordinator from among the residents of this municipality, who shall be a person well versed and trained in planning operations involving the activities of many different agencies which will operate to protect the public health, safety and welfare in the event of danger from emergencies as defined in this chapter.
Term and conditions. The Coordinator of Emergency Management Services shall, subject to fulfilling the requirements of this section, serve for a term of three years. As a condition of his appointment and his right to continue for the full term of his appointment, said Coordinator of Emergency Management Services shall have successfully completed at the time of his appointment or within one year immediately following his appointment or the effective date of the Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act (N.J.S.A. App. A:9-33 et seq.), whichever is later, the current approved home study course and the basic emergency management workshop. The failure of any Coordinator of Emergency Management Services to fulfill such requirements within the period prescribed shall disqualify the Coordinator from continuing in the office of Coordinator, and thereupon a vacancy in said office shall be deemed to have been created.
[Amended 10-27-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-68]
Removal of Coordinator of Emergency Management Services. The Governor may remove any Coordinator of Emergency Management Services at any time for cause. In such event, the Mayor of the municipality shall appoint a new Coordinator of Emergency Management Services with the approval of the Governor. If the Mayor shall not appoint a Coordinator of Emergency Management Services within 10 days after such office shall become vacant, the Governor may appoint a Temporary Coordinator of Emergency Management Services, who shall serve and perform all of the duties of that office until such time as a new Coordinator of Emergency Management Services shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Governor.
The Coordinator may designate and appoint, with the approval of the Mayor, up to six Deputy Coordinators, one of which shall be the First Deputy, and who shall consist of members of the following departments and first responders whenever possible: Public Works, Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, to assume the emergency duties of the Coordinator in the event of his/her absence or inability to act, the intent being that there shall always be at all times a Coordinator in charge of emergency management operations. Whenever possible, such deputy shall be appointed from among the salaried officers or employees of the municipality.
[Amended 12-9-1997 by Ord. No. 97-88; 4-24-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-24]
The Coordinator shall designate and appoint, with the approval of the Mayor, a Deputy Coordinator to assume the emergency duties of the Coordinator in the event of his absence or inability to act, the intent being that there will always and at all times be a Coordinator in charge of emergency management operations. Whenever possible, such deputy shall be appointed from among the salaried officers or employees of the municipality.
The Coordinator of the Office of Emergency Management shall be responsible to the Mayor in regard to all phases of the emergency management activity. Under the supervision of the Mayor, he shall be responsible for the planning, activation, coordination and operation of the emergency management activity in the City. Under the supervision of the Mayor, he shall maintain liaison with the county, state and federal authorities and the authorities of other nearby political subdivisions so as to ensure the most effective operation of the Emergency Management Plan. His duties shall include but not be limited to the following:
Personnel: coordinating the recruitment of volunteer personnel and agencies to augment the personnel and facilities of the City for emergency management purposes. The Coordinator may require emergency services of any City officer or employee. If regular forces are determined to be inadequate, the Coordinator may require the services of such other personnel as he can obtain that are available, including citizen volunteers. All duly authorized persons rendering emergency services shall be entitled to the privileges and immunities as are provided by state law, the Charter and ordinances for regular City employees and other registered and identified emergency-management workers.
Obtaining vital supplies, equipment and other properties found lacking and needed for the protection of health, life and property of the people, and binding the City for the fair value thereof.
Negotiating and concluding agreements with owners or persons in control of buildings or other property for the use of such buildings or other property for emergency management purposes.
Causing to be prepared the Basic Plan herein referred to as the "City of Vineland Emergency Management Basic Plan."
Developing and coordinating plans for the immediate use of all the facilities, equipment, manpower and other resources of the City of Vineland for the purpose of minimizing or preventing damage to persons and property and protecting and restoring to usefulness the governmental services and public utilities necessary for the public health, safety and welfare.
Through public information programs, educating the civilian population as to the actions necessary and required for the protection of their persons and property in case of emergency, as defined herein, either impending or present.
Conducting public practice alerts to ensure the efficient operation of the emergency management forces and to familiarize residents with regulations, procedures and operations.
With the approval of the Mayor, ordering emergency management forces to the aid of other communities when required only in accordance with the statutes of the state and requesting the state or county (or a political subdivision of the state) to send aid to the City of Vineland in case of disaster when conditions in the City are beyond the control of the local emergency management organization and/or resources.
Assuming such authority and conducting such activity as the City may direct to promote and execute the Emergency Management Plan.
The Coordinator shall be Chairman of the Emergency Management Council.
The Coordinator may exercise the emergency power and authority necessary to fulfill his general powers and duties, as defined in this chapter. The judgment of the Coordinator shall be the sole criterion necessary to invoke emergency powers indicated in this chapter and other appropriate authorities. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as abridging or curtailing the powers or restrictions of the Mayor or Council, as defined in the Administrative Code of the City.
During any period when disaster threatens or when the City has been struck by disaster within the definition of this chapter, the Mayor may promulgate such regulations as he deems necessary to protect life and property and preserve critical resources. The Coordinator shall assist in implementing such regulations.
Said regulations shall be as follows:
Regulations prohibiting or restricting the movement of vehicles in order to facilitate the work of emergency management forces or to facilitate the mass movement of persons from critical areas within or without the City.
Regulations pertaining to the movement of persons from areas deemed to be hazardous or vulnerable to disaster.
Such other regulations necessary to preserve public peace, health and safety.
Regulations promulgated in accordance with the authority above will be published in the official newspaper. These regulations will have the force of ordinance when duly filed with the Clerk, and violations will be subject to the penalties provided in this chapter.
Wherever, in his opinion, a disaster has occurred or is imminent in any municipality, the Coordinator of Emergency Management Services of that municipality shall proclaim a state of local disaster emergency within the municipality. The Coordinator of Emergency Management Services, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the State Civilian Defense Director, shall be empowered to issue and enforce such orders as may be necessary to implement and carry out disaster-control operations and to protect the health, safety and resources of the residents of the municipality.
A comprehensive Emergency Management Basic Plan shall be maintained by the Coordinator. In the preparation of this plan as it pertains to City organization, it is the intent that the services, equipment, facilities and personnel of all existing departments and agencies, including volunteer fire companies and first-aid squads (said department agencies and companies hereinafter referred to as "departments"), shall be utilized to the fullest extent to protect the peace, health and safety of citizens. When approved, it shall be the duty of all municipal departments to perform the functions assigned by the plan and to maintain their portions of the plan in a current state of readiness at all times. The Basic Plan shall be considered supplementary to this chapter and shall have the effect of law whenever a disaster, as defined in this chapter, has been proclaimed. The plan shall be compatible with county and state plans.
The Coordinator shall prescribe in the Basic Plan those positions within the disaster organization in addition to his own for which lines of succession are necessary.
Each department head assigned responsibility in the Basic Plan shall be responsible for carrying out all duties and functions assigned therein. Duties will include the organization and training of assigned City employees and volunteers. Each department head shall formulate an operation plan for his service which, when approved, shall be an annex to and a part of the Basic Plan.
When a required competency or skill for a disaster function is not available within the City government, the Coordinator is authorized to seek assistance from persons outside of government. The assignment of duties, when of a supervisory nature, shall also grant authority for the persons assigned to carry out such duties prior to, during and after the occurrence of a disaster. Such services from persons outside of government may be accepted by the City on a volunteer basis. Such citizens shall be enrolled as emergency management volunteers in cooperation with the heads of departments affected.
It shall be the duty of the members of the governing body and of each and every officer, agent and employee of every political subdivision of this municipality and of each member of all other governmental bodies, agencies and authorities of any nature whatsoever fully to cooperate with the Governor and the Civilian Defense Director in all matters affecting any emergency as defined by the Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act. The Governor is authorized to make, amend and rescind orders, rules and regulations as provided in said act, and it shall be unlawful for this municipality to adopt any rule or regulation or to enforce any such rule or regulation that may be at variance with any such order, rule or regulation established by the Governor. In the event of a dispute on the question of whether or not any such rule or regulation is at variance with an order, rule or regulation established by the Governor under said act, the determination of the Governor shall control.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. App. A:9-52, neither the Office of Emergency Management Services nor the City of Vineland, under any circumstances, nor the agents, officers, employees, servants or representatives of the City, including all volunteers, in good faith carrying out, complying with or attempting to comply with any order, rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to the provisions of said Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act or performing any authorized service in connection therewith shall be liable for any injury or death to persons or damage to property as the result of any such activity. No person owning, possessing or managing any real property which has been designated, pursuant to the provisions of the Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act or of any order, rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, as a shelter from destructive operations or attacks by enemies of the United States shall be liable in any civil action for death or injury to any person who, because such real property has been designated as a shelter as aforesaid, enters upon it solely for the purpose of seeking refuge therein during such destructive operations or attacks or during civil defense tests ordered by lawful authority, except where such death or injury is caused by the willful act of such owner, possessor or manager or his agents or employees. The foregoing shall not affect the right of any person to receive benefits or compensation which may be specifically provided by the provisions of the Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act or any other state or federal statute, nor shall it affect the right of any person to recover under the terms of any policy of insurance.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any of the provisions of this chapter or the regulations or plans issued pursuant to the authority contained herein or to willfully obstruct, hinder or delay any member of the emergency management organization as herein defined in the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter or any regulation or plan issued thereunder.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, General Penalty.
[Amended 12-9-1997 by Ord. No. 97-88; 10-10-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-84]
At all times when the orders, rules and regulations made and promulgated pursuant to this chapter shall be in effect, they shall supersede all existing ordinances, orders, rules and regulations insofar as the latter may be inconsistent therewith. Chapter 56, Fire Department, is hereby amended to incorporate the Office of Emergency Management Services within the Fire Department.