Township of Blairstown, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Blairstown 6-24-2020 by Ord. No. 2020-06.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was adopted as Ch. 36, but was renumbered to maintain the alphabetical organization of the Code.
The Fire Department shall be an independent, municipal volunteer fire and rescue company known as "Blairstown Hose Company Number 1."
A. 
Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 shall consist of a Chief and Deputy Chief and such firefighters, engineers, lieutenants and captains as established in the Company's bylaws (Article No. 3) as shall be appointed as hereinafter set forth.
B. 
There shall be a liaison representative from the Township Committee who shall attend all Fire Department meetings.
Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 shall prepare its own bylaws. The Company shall provide a copy of the bylaws to the Township Committee and shall provide the Township with copies of any updates adopted.
Administrative control of Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 shall reside with the Company with oversight by the Township Committee. The Chief of the Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 shall provide regular reports to the Township Committee. Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 shall provide copies of meeting minutes to the Township Committee as requested.
Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 shall maintain all records, including meeting minutes, as required by state law and regulations. Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 shall produce records in response to the Open Public Records Act[1] requests as required under the Act. The Company shall produce records for inspection by the Township liaison upon request.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.
After discipline has been implemented by Blairstown Hose Company Number 1's Disciplinary Committee, the Township Committee shall have the right to expel or suspend any member or officer of Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 upon charges preferred, related to a violation of the Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 bylaws or the Township's personnel policies, subsequent to such discipline and a trial by the Township Committee.
The officers of Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 shall be elected annually by ballot at an election of Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 to be held on the first Tuesday of December in each year at the firehouse in the Township of Blairstown at 7:30 p.m., and they shall hold office for one year from the first day of January following their election; provided, however, that the election of the Chief and Deputy Chief shall be confirmed by the Township Committee before they shall assume the duties of their office.
The duties of the Chief shall be as follows:
A. 
The Chief shall preside at all meetings of the Company and maintain order and decorum therein.
B. 
According to Robert's Rules of Order, when a motion is made with a second, the Chief shall put the question to the Company and, in debate, shall prevent any personal reflection and confine members to the question under discussion.
C. 
The Chief shall order any special meetings required.
D. 
The Chief, together with officers and trustees, shall have the power to administer disciplinary action against a member for improper conduct.
E. 
The Chief shall order a fire drill or other exercise pertaining to fire duties at least once per month, and the members shall be notified of such at a regular meeting.
F. 
It shall be the duty of the Chief, from the time the apparatus leaves the firehouse until it returns, when in attendance, to lead the operations of the Company while at fires, drills or parades.
G. 
The Chief shall order the time for working the apparatus and shall fix such time as he/she deems best for the welfare of the Company.
H. 
The Chief shall appoint all special and standing committees and members as shall be deemed necessary for the proper transaction of the business of the Company.
I. 
The Chief shall appoint three persons at the annual meeting each year, to be styled the Auditing Committee, whose duty it shall be to examine the books and accounts of the Secretary and Treasurer and report upon the same at the next regular meeting.
J. 
The Chief shall render an annual report of the operations of the Company at the annual meeting and furnish a copy of the report to the Township Committee or municipal governing body.
K. 
The Chief's salary shall be determined by the Township Committee, municipal governing body or the trustees of the company.
L. 
The Chief shall appoint one member to act as historian who shall maintain an appropriate history of the Company.
M. 
The Chief shall report to the Township Committee at the regular meeting each month the condition of the Company and of the apparatus, and of any other matters of Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 that the Chief deems necessary.
The Township Committee reserves the right to amend this chapter as necessary, with the input and agreement of the Company.
The services rendered by the members of Blairstown Hose Company Number l shall be voluntary and without compensation, with the exception of the Chief, Deputy Chief, Secretary, Treasurer and custodians. The salaries of these individuals are as set by Township ordinance.
The Mayor and Township Committee liaisons of the Public Safety Fire and Ambulance Committee shall, at all times in the presence of the Chief or his/her designee, be admitted to the firehouse for the purpose of examining the conditions of the fire apparatus and any property of the Township.
The duties of all firefighters of Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 shall be as follows:
A. 
It shall be the duty of all members of Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 to obey all commands of their officers.
B. 
It shall be the duty of all members of the Company to answer all fire alarms and the Secretary shall maintain a record of same.
C. 
Sickness or death in the family of a member, personal sickness, or absence from the Township shall be deemed sufficient excuses for neglect of duty, and no others will be accepted, absence from the Township to mean absence from the coverage area of Blairstown Hose Company Number 1.
D. 
No member shall appear at the meetings of the Company, or on duty, in a state of intoxication or under the influence of drugs, or shall be guilty of using indecent or profane language, or shall disobey the orders of the Chief, Deputy Chief, or officer in charge of the Company, or be guilty of unbecoming conduct or otherwise bringing disgrace upon the Company or Township under penalty of expulsion.
E. 
Any firefighter ceasing to be a member of the Company, either by resignation or by expulsion, shall lose all title to any and all property in any way belonging to Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 or the Township of Blairstown.
F. 
Any member leaving the Township for longer than one month shall notify the Chief or the Secretary of same.
G. 
It shall be the imperative duty of all members who may be a witness to any improper or disorderly conduct by an officer or member, in the firehouse or while in service, to report same at once to the Chief or the trustees.
H. 
Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 business is private. What occurs at fires, drills and meetings is for members' knowledge only. The Chief, Deputy Chief, or Secretary shall be the official spokespersons for the Company.
I. 
It shall be the duty of all SCBA-certified members to have an annual physical. This physical must conform to the standards set forth by PEOSHA.[1] If this physical is performed by the Township-approved doctor, it can be billed to the Township. If the physical is performed by a doctor of the member's choice, payment shall be the member's responsibility.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 34:6A-25 et seq.
J. 
Any member who is work disabled under any circumstances, even if minor, must notify the Chief and Deputy Chief as soon as possible. A doctor's written clearance letter is mandatory before returning to attend fires.
There is hereby established as an auxiliary to Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 a Junior Firefighters' Auxiliary, which shall operate under and pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-95 and in accordance with the following:
A. 
Junior members must be in high school and be at least 14 years of age to join and can participate until 19 years of age.
B. 
Junior members must maintain at least a "C" average in their high school coursework and produce documentation of the same at the time they sign up. The company monitors this on a quarterly basis and documentation must be provided each time. If parents ask to limit participation at higher averages, their word will always be the last in these cases. In the event a junior member has lower than a "C" average, he or she will be placed on probation until the grade returns to a "C." Junior members must also be approved by the school principal.
C. 
Junior members under 18 years of age must always obtain full permission from the parent or legal guardian to participate in our programs.
D. 
Junior members report directly to their advisor for all assignments and activities.
E. 
Junior members will receive classroom training in core areas of interest with classes focused on CPR, communications, general fire, rescue and EMS education, and fire safety and prevention.
F. 
Junior members may participate in the following activities:
(1) 
Parades or special events.
(2) 
Fund-raising events .
(3) 
Training.
(4) 
General standby.
(5) 
Fire safety/prevention education and activities.
(6) 
Meetings.
G. 
Junior members should attend regular monthly meetings or events for youth program participants. These may include basic training coursework, a fixed activity such as one of those listed above, or other activity with the Company.
H. 
Junior members may only perform support or auxiliary work at fireground operations, such as providing refreshments to the first responders well outside of the hot zone or operational area, as per N.J.S.A. 40A:14-95 et seq., Junior Firefighters' Auxiliary.
I. 
Junior members may not operate any Fire Department vehicle.
J. 
Junior members and their parent or guardian must sign a waiver that includes full disclosure of risks and releases the Company from liability should someone become injured.
K. 
No junior firefighter shall be required to perform duties which would expose him/her to the same degree of hazard as a regular member of a volunteer fire company.
L. 
A junior firefighter 16 years of age or older may perform nonhazardous support duties at a fire site, provided:
(1) 
The junior firefighter has been appropriately and adequately trained to perform the support duties;
(2) 
The junior firefighter is appropriately and adequately supervised in performing those support duties at the fire site;
(3) 
The junior firefighter's parent or guardian has provided written permission allowing the junior firefighter to perform those support duties; and
(4) 
The governing body provides insurance coverage for the junior firefighter that is identical to that provided for the regular members of the volunteer fire department or fire district.
M. 
Activities of junior firefighters under 16 years of age shall be limited to:
(1) 
Attending meetings of the Junior Firefighters' Auxiliary;
(2) 
Receiving instruction;
(3) 
Participating in training that does not involve fire, smoke, toxic or noxious gas, or hazardous materials or substances; and
(4) 
Observing firefighting activities, while under supervision.
Members of Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 are expected to adhere to and comply with the specific personnel policies adopted by the Township Committee and set forth herein.
Any complaints of harassment, pursuant to the Township of Blairstown's policies or Blairstown Hose Company Number 1's Standard Operating Guidelines Section 3.8, made by any member of Blairstown Hose Company Number 1 shall be reported to the Township Committee liaison immediately. The Township Committee liaison shall ensure that an investigation of the complaint is conducted in accordance with the Township's personnel policy and state law.