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City of Colonial Heights, VA
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Colonial Heights 4-8-1975 as Ch. 9 of the 1975 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
CHARTER REFERENCES
Public safety — See Ch. 11.
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire Department — See Ch. 32.
Police Department — See Ch. 54.
Public Safety Program — See Ch. 59.
Ambulance Service — See Ch. 96.
It is the purpose of this chapter to implement within the City the provisions of the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Services and Disaster Law of 1973[1] by providing, insofar as the resources of the City permit, the organization, personnel, equipment and plans which are necessary to deal adequately with natural and man-made disasters which may occur within the City and its environs and, to the extent of the means available, to provide emergency disaster services to other communities and respond to calls made by the Governor or by the Office of Emergency Services of the state.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 44-146.13 et seq. of the Code of Virginia.
Definitions shall be as provided in § 44-146.16 of the Code of Virginia.
The mission of the City Council, within the purview of this chapter and acting through its Director of Emergency Services, is to direct and support the emergency services of the City and to cooperate with other cities and counties and the State Office of Emergency Services in the event of man-made or natural disaster.
A. 
Unless and until provided otherwise by executive order of the Governor, the City Manager shall be the Director of Emergency Services.
B. 
The Director of Emergency Services shall have authority to appoint a Coordinator of Emergency Service Activities, with the consent of the City Council.
[1]
Editor's Note: For the statutory basis of this section, see Code of Virginia, 44-146.19, Subsection B.
A. 
The Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization is hereby established, the commanding officer of which shall be the Director of Emergency Services.
B. 
Pursuant to policies established from time to time by the City Council, consistent with state law and plans and policies of the Office of Emergency Services of the state, the Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization shall have such structural organization, personnel and equipment as shall be specified by the Director of Emergency Services, subject to the availability of funds, and the Director of Emergency Services shall utilize the services, equipment, supplies and facilities of existing departments, offices and agencies of the City to the maximum extent practicable. The officers and personnel of all such departments, offices and agencies are directed to cooperate with and extend such services and facilities to the Director of Emergency Services and, upon request, to the Governor and to the State Office of Emergency Services as well. The Director of Emergency Services is hereby authorized to include within the Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization such corporate and individual volunteer members as may be desirable to enable the organization to accomplish its intended missions, as, for example, medical personnel and organizations and public utility company personnel and equipment, to name but two (2) of the more obvious classes.
C. 
The Director of Emergency Services shall prepare and may from time to time amend tables of organization and equipment for the Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization, at least one (1) copy of which shall be maintained on file in the office of the City Clerk, where it shall be available to the public for inspection and use during all regular business hours, and copies shall be made available to all persons deemed by the Director to have a need therefor.
D. 
The tables of organization and equipment shall establish a definite chain of command for each component of the organization.
E. 
The Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization shall have such powers and perform such duties as may be necessary, consistent with state law and policies of the City Council, to serve the purposes of this chapter and as may be specified for local emergency services organizations by the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Services and Disaster Law of 1973.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 44-146.13 et seq. of the Code of Virginia.
No person shall be a member, employee or agent of or be associated with the Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization who advocates or has advocated a change by force or violence in the constitutional form of government of the United States or in this state or the overthrow of any government in the United States by force or violence or who has been convicted of or is under indictment or information charging any subversive act against the United States. Each person who is appointed to serve in such organization shall, before entering upon his duties, take an oath, in writing, before a person authorized to administer oaths in this state, which shall be substantially as follows:
  "I, .............................. , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.
  "And I do further swear (or affirm) that I do not advocate, nor am I a member of any political party or organization that advocates, the overthrow of the Government of the United States or of this state by force or violence and that, during such time as I am a member of the Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization, I will not advocate or become a member of any political party or organization that advocates the overthrow of the Government of the United States or of this state by force or violence."
[1]
Editor's Note: For similar statutory provisions, see Code of Virginia, § 44-146.25.
A. 
The Director of Emergency Services shall prepare and from time to time amend, so as to keep abreast of new concepts and techniques, plans for the accomplishment of the missions of the Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization in the event of any natural or man-made disaster and for the effective deployment and employment of the personnel and equipment of the organization or which may be subject to its call. Such plans shall be consistent with policies of the City Council and the policies and plans of the Governor and the State Office of Emergency Services and shall be distributed and publicized as may be desirable, in the opinion of the Director, to effectively serve their intended purposes, provided that not less than one (1) copy of each such plan shall be maintained on file in the office of the City Clerk.
B. 
The Director of Emergency Services shall be responsible for the training of all personnel of the Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization to the end that they may be in a constant state of readiness to effectively perform their duties and properly use the equipment available to them in the event of any natural or man-made emergency. It shall be the duty of all City government personnel affected thereby to attend such classes and field exercises as may be prescribed by the Director pursuant to policy guidance by the City Council, and the Director shall encourage attendance of all volunteer personnel at such classes and field exercises.
C. 
The Director of Emergency Services shall prepare the annual budget of the Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization.
D. 
The Director of Emergency Services shall have such other power and perform such other duties as may be specified for the office of local Director of Emergency Services in the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Services and Disaster Law of 1973[1] or as may be prescribed by the City Council.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 44-146.13 et seq. of the Code of Virginia.
The Coordinator of Emergency Service Activities, under the direct supervision of the Director of Emergency Services, shall be the executive officer of the Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization and, in the absence or disability of the Director, shall assume command of the organization. He shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be specified for the office of local Coordinator of Emergency Service Activities by the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Services and Disaster Law of 1973[1] or by the Director of Emergency Services, consistent with state law and the plans and policies of the Governor and the State Office of Emergency Services.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 44-146.13 et seq. of the Code of Virginia.
It shall be the duty of the Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization and the officers thereof to execute and enforce such orders, rules and regulations as may be made by the Governor under authority of the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Services and Disaster Law of 1973,[1] and that organization shall have available for inspection at its office or at the office of the City Clerk all such orders, rules and regulations.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 44-146.13 et seq. of the Code of Virginia.
A. 
A disaster may be declared within the City by the Director of Emergency Services, with the consent of the City Council. In the event that the City Council cannot convene due to the disaster, the Director, or any member of the Council in the absence of the Director, may declare the existence of a disaster, subject to confirmation by the City Council at a special meeting within five (5) days of the declaration. The City Council, when, in its judgment, all disaster actions have been taken, shall take appropriate action to end the declared disaster.
B. 
A declaration of a City disaster shall activate the response and recovery programs of all applicable City and interjurisdictional disaster operations plans and authorize the furnishing of aid and assistance thereunder.
C. 
The Director, following such declaration, shall notify the State Office of Emergency Services that all local resources have been committed in the disaster and that assistance may be requested from the state.
[1]
Editor's Note: For state law basis of this section, see Code of Virginia, § 44-146.21.
Nothing in this chapter is to be construed to:
A. 
Limit, modify or abridge the authority of the Governor to exercise any powers vested in him under the laws of this state in conjunction with any provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Interfere with dissemination of news or comment on public affairs; but any communications facility or organization, including but not limited to radio and television stations, wire services and newspapers, may be required to transmit or print public service messages furnishing information or instructions in connection with actual or pending disaster.
C. 
Affect the jurisdiction of responsibilities of police forces, fire-fighting forces, units of armed forces of the United States or of this state and any personnel thereof, when on active duty, but the Colonial Heights Emergency Services Organization shall place reliance upon such forces in the event of declared disasters.
D. 
Interfere with the course of conduct of a labor dispute, except that actions otherwise authorized by this chapter or other laws may be taken when necessary to forestall or mitigate imminent or existing danger to public health or safety.