[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough of Rutherford Council 4-22-2014 by Ord. No. 3327-14. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire Department — See Ch. 33.
Applicant needs to pass a Fire Department physical, using the New Jersey State Firemen's Association form.
Application for membership shall be the same as that of an adult applicant, as set forth at § 33-7 of the Borough Code, accompanied by a parental permission and release form. Junior applicant will select a preferred company to join. Application will be reviewed by the Chief of the Department and the Junior Firefighter Chairperson. Company choice will be dependent upon current number of junior firefighters assigned to that company.
In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:14-95, no person shall be eligible for membership in the Junior Firefighter Auxiliary Program who is less than 16 or more than 18 1/2 years of age. Proof of age is required. Proof of residency in the Borough of Rutherford is required.
[Amended 12-11-2018 by Ord. No. 3483-18]
No junior firefighter member may remain as a junior firefighter after his/her 18th birthday.
The junior firefighter applicant must appear before the Department's Junior Firefighter Committee for an interview. The parent or guardian of the applicant must be present during the time of the interview. The Committee will consist of a representative from each company, the Chief of the Department and/or his designee, and the Chairperson of the Junior Firefighter Program.
A frequently checked email address for the parent/guardian (in addition to the junior member's email address) must be provided for communication purposes.
A copy of the rules and regulation of the Rutherford Junior Firefighter Auxiliary will be provided to the applicant at the interview. The applicant/parent/guardian will sign off on the permission and release form that they are in receipt of the rules and regulation of the Rutherford Junior Firefighter Auxiliary and agree with its content.
Acceptance to the Junior Firefighter Auxiliary Program shall be subject to approval by the Mayor and Council.
Training of junior firefighters will include any and all instruction which the Rutherford Fire Department deems necessary.
After acceptance as a junior firefighter member, the junior firefighter will commit to the completion of a junior firefighting course, which is based upon the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) requirements. This course is offered at the Bergen County Fire Academy (Junior Firefighter Firefighting Program) or at another recognized education institution providing equivalent training. This shall be mandatory for all members under the age of 18 1/2.
[Amended 12-11-2018 by Ord. No. 3483-18]
Junior firefighter members shall not perform any task or participate in any activity prohibited by applicable state and federal laws.
Junior firefighter members shall obey all lawful orders given to them by any line officer in authority of the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department, or other member, in the absence of a line officer.
Junior firefighter members may ride on the fire apparatus in seated positions and inside other Department vehicles. (Safety belts shall be worn at all times.)
Junior firefighter members may ride on apparatus only when prescribed seating is available just prior to the apparatus leaving the firehouse. No junior firefighter member shall, at any time, ride on the outside of any apparatus or vehicle.
Junior members must relinquish their seat to a fully qualified member if need be.
Junior firefighter members may wash and roll hose, repack hose, clean equipment and the firehouse and put equipment away on the fire ground, as long as they are well away from contaminated areas.
Junior firefighter members may observe at a safe distance established by the incident Commander.
Junior firefighter members may not participate in Department activities more than eight hours per day or 40 hours per week, or participate in any activities prior to 6:00 a.m. or after 11:00 p.m.
While performing any training duties or riding on the apparatus, or working on the fire ground, all junior firefighter members shall comply with the Department rules and regulations concerning protective clothing.
Junior firefighter members, when responding to the fire station in a personal vehicle, shall obey all traffic regulations and speed limits. Junior firefighter members shall not use blue lights and permits shall not be issued for same.
When being dropped off at the firehouse, parent/guardian must wait for the apparatus to leave, in the event that there is no room on the apparatus for the junior firefighter. If he/she is responding to the firehouse on his/her own, the junior firefighter will return home on their own as well. Parents/guardians shall be advised of this and agree to same on the parental permission and release form.
When a junior firefighter member is assigned by a line officer to assist a firefighter in a task, the junior firefighter member shall follow all instructions given, provided such instructions do not place the junior firefighter member in a contaminated area or in other physical danger.
Junior firefighter members are subject to the bylaws and constitution of the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department and the rules and regulations of the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department and the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Company, which they belong to.
Junior firefighter members shall attend drills of the Department, except for good cause (school requirements, religious requirements, JV or varsity sports, band practice or team games, etc.).
Junior firefighter members shall not assist or participate in any drill or exercise in any other jurisdiction, unless it is with his/her own department attending as a department.
Junior firefighters will not be permitted to respond to known or reports of haz-mat situations.
The junior firefighter will remain with the apparatus chauffer until given other orders.
When a junior firefighter member reaches his/her 18th birthday, the junior firefighter member is eligible to apply for membership in the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department. Junior firefighter members seeking to join the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department must satisfy all requirements of the Department and will be considered for membership, in part, based on the junior firefighter member's performance as a junior firefighter.
Upon reaching the age of 18, junior member will submit a letter to the Officer's Association for acceptance into the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department as an auxiliary member.
No junior firefighter member shall be in the firehouse without the presence of at least two active (nonprobationary) members. Junior Firefighter members cannot invite guests into the firehouse.
No junior firefighter member may remain in the firehouse after 11:00 p.m. or report to the firehouse prior to 6:00 a.m.
Junior firefighter members may be permitted to attend meetings of the Department but shall not have a vote on any Fire Department matter.
No junior firefighter member, under suspension, shall respond to any fire alarm, call, drill, training session or meeting or be in the firehouse at any time.
In the event of a suspension from the Fire Department, a meeting will be held with the Program Coordinator, Chief of the Department, Company Officers and parents/guardians to determine the length of suspension/removal.
No junior firefighter member shall participate in any Department activity or respond to alarms or be in the firehouse when required to be at home or at school.
No junior firefighter member shall start, drive, or in any way move, any of the Rutherford Fire Department's fire apparatus.
The Chief of the Department will issue all junior firefighter members a complete set of protective turnout gear, which will consist of the following: helmet, hood, turnout coat, bunker pants with fire boots, gloves and accountability tag. All gear that is issued to junior firefighter members is, and shall remain property of the Rutherford Fire Department and shall be returned upon request of the Chief of the Department or upon termination of the junior firefighter member's participation as a volunteer with the Department for any reason. All equipment and gear is to remain in the firehouse unless it is needed for fire school.
Junior firefighters are not permitted to respond to any mutual aid requests.
The junior firefighter member shall be required to wear what is deemed appropriate by the Chief of the Department for Fire Department events and functions.
The junior firefighter member shall not borrow or use any Department equipment or materials for personal use under any circumstances.
Junior firefighter members shall not make or issue any public statements on behalf of the Department concerning any emergency incidents. All requests for comment are to be referred to the incident commander or to the Chief of the Department. Junior firefighter members must abide by the Department's social media policy and are forbidden from taking pictures or video of any incidents while acting in the capacity of the Rutherford Fire Department.
During a water or ice rescue, junior firefighter members must remain on shore at all times. Junior firefighter members shall not ride on a fireboat under any circumstances.
Junior firefighter members may climb ground ladders or aerial ladders for training purposes only under the direct supervision of a fire officer or his or her designee. While training with ladders, the junior firefighter member must wear full protective gear and use a ladder belt or approved safety harness. Ladders and aerial equipment of another department may only be used by a junior firefighter member with the consent of a fire officer from the department that owns the equipment, or in conjunction with an organized, approved junior firefighter training program.
Junior firefighter members may utilize any nonpowered hand tool and change self-contained breathing apparatus ("SCBA") bottles only if the junior firefighter member has received training to do so. Junior firefighter members must wear turnout gear, when operating such equipment.
Pursuant to applicable child labor laws and subject to change if out of compliance, under no circumstances shall a junior firefighter utilize any power or hydraulic equipment, including but not limited to the Jaws of Life, cutting torches or welding equipment, or come along device.
All communication of scheduled events shall be via email to the parent/guardian provided email as well as the junior firefighter. The communication of scheduled events will come from an officer of the company and include the Chief of the Department and the Junior Firefighter Program Coordinator.
The Chief of the Fire Department may suspend or remove any junior firefighter member for good cause, including, but not limited to:
Disobeying direct, valid, legal orders;
Failure to obey the rules and regulations of the Department;
Responding or participating against the explicit instructions of parents or guardians;
Failing to maintain a "C" average or better (or the equivalent) in school or failure to attend school as required will result in a discontinuation of service upon notification from the school;
Divulging confidential information of the Department;
Conduct unbecoming to the good reputation of the Rutherford Fire Department;
Suspension from school.
Junior firefighter members may be issued a Fire Department pager if they are available; which pagers must be surrendered at the discretion of the Chief of the Department or upon termination of the junior firefighter member's participation as a volunteer with the Department for any reason. Junior firefighter members shall not take a Department issued pager to school.
Junior members shall be insured by the Borough of Rutherford under the South Bergen Municipal Joint Insurance Fund.
All Ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency only.
If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or other part of this chapter is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this chapter, but shall be confined in its effect to the section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or other part of this chapter directly involved in the controversy in which said judgment shall have been rendered and all other provisions of this chapter shall remain in full force and effect.