Town of Vernon, WI
Waukesha County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Vernon 11-3-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-04; amended in its entirety 11-18-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-07. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
Creation. There is hereby created a Fire Department to serve the firefighting and emergency medical needs of the Town. The firefighters selected shall be officially recognized as the Vernon Fire Department and the duties of firefighting, fire prevention education, preservation of life and property and emergency medical care in the Town is delegated to the Department. The Vernon Fire Department's organization and internal regulations shall be governed by the provisions of this section and by the rules and regulations adopted by the Department as approved by the Town Board.
B. 
Finances, property and equipment. The Town shall provide and own all equipment, real estate and money necessary to properly operate and maintain the Vernon Fire Department. Any money, equipment or property donated, dedicated or given to the Vernon Fire Department by any person, group or association shall become the property of the Town of Vernon, who shall thereafter account therefor.
C. 
Sale, exchange or disposal. No Vernon Fire Department property or equipment shall be sold, exchanged, or disposed of without the approval of the Vernon Town Board.
D. 
Appropriations. The Town Board shall appropriate funds to provide for the operation and for such equipment and apparatus for the use of the Vernon Fire Department as the Board may deem expedient and necessary to maintain efficiently and to properly protect life and property from fire.
E. 
Firefighters' compensation. The officers and members of the Vernon Fire Department shall receive such compensation from the Town as may be from time to time fixed by the Town Board.
F. 
Gifts, donations and conveyances. Any monies or other property of whatever nature that is gifted, donated or conveyed to the Vernon Fire Department shall become the property of the Town to be accounted for as all other public funds.
A. 
Composition. The Vernon Fire Department shall consist of the following officers: one chief, one assistant or deputy chief, three deputy or battalion chiefs, two captains, four lieutenants, a secretary, and as many drivers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians who live or normally work within the Town and vicinity as may be appointed by the Chief and approved by the Board of Fire Commissioners, provided that at no time shall the Department consist of fewer than 30 nor more than 60 active members. The Department is not obligated to fill all officer positions.
[Amended 10-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-01]
B. 
Filling vacancy in office of Chief. Upon creation of a vacancy of the office of Chief, the ranking officer shall perform the duties of the Chief until such vacancy has been filled by the Fire Commission.
C. 
Application for membership. Any person desiring to be a member of the Vernon Fire Department may file with the Chief an application in such form as the Fire Commission may require. Each applicant, who must be at least 18 years of age, shall also file a certificate of physical fitness from such physician as the Chief may designate. The name of any applicant approved by the Chief shall be presented to the Fire Commission for confirmation.
D. 
Retirement. Active membership in the Department shall cease as set forth in the rules and regulations of the Department.
E. 
Resignations. All resignations from the Department shall take the same course as applications for and appointments to membership. The Fire Chief must then notify payroll.
F. 
Appeals from expulsion or demotion. Any member or officer of the Department who has been expelled or demoted for any offense or neglect of duty or insubordination may appear before the Fire Commission and state why such penalty should not be confirmed. The Fire Commission may order the Chief to reinstate the member or officer, pursuant to §§ 60.57 and 62.13(5), Wisconsin Statutes.
A. 
The Chief shall have responsibility for the supervision, administration and efficiency of the Vernon Fire Department and shall immediately establish rules and regulations and expenditure of funds and purchase order policies, subject to this chapter and the rules of the Vernon Fire Department.
[Amended 12-18-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-06]
B. 
The Chief shall preside at all meetings of the Department, call special meetings, preserve order, decide all points of order that may arise, and enforce a rigid observance of this chapter and rules of the Vernon Fire Department.
[Amended 12-18-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-06]
C. 
The Chief, to the best of his abilities, shall be present at all fires, have complete command of and entire responsibility for all firefighting operations, plan the control of the same, direct the action of the companies when they arrive at a fire, observe that every company does its duty, grant leaves of absence at a fire when he may deem it proper and see that the fire apparatus is kept in proper condition at all times.
D. 
The Chief may suspend any officer or member of the Department for neglect or refusal to perform departmental duties, such suspension to be subject to an appeal to the Fire Commission.
E. 
Not later than October 1 of each calendar year, the Chief shall file with the Town Clerk a detailed budget required for the operation of the Vernon Fire Department for the ensuing fiscal year, including a five-year capital equipment plan.
F. 
The Chief shall submit a written report to the Town Board not later than February 1 of each year, and at such other times as the Chief deems desirable, relating to the conditions of the various pieces of apparatus and appurtenances including: the number of fires occurring for the previous year, the date of same and loss occasioned thereby, the total number of active members in the Department and resignations and expulsions from the Department. The Chief shall also report upon the drill and training program of the Department, together with other pertinent information, including recommendations of such improvements as the Chief deems proper and necessary for the operation of the Vernon Fire Department.
G. 
The Chief or his or her designee shall appear monthly before the Town Board and present a report concerning all Vernon Fire Department activities, including calls, membership, training, and pertinent issues, including the activities of the Town of Vernon Firefighters Association.
H. 
The Chief shall enforce all fire prevention ordinances of the Town and state laws and regulations pertaining to fire prevention.
I. 
The Chief shall keep a fire record book of every fire to which any company was called and shall enter in such book the locality of fire, time alarm was received, cause of fire, where fire started, cause of delay (if any) in responding, equipment used, estimated time fire was extinguished, and the names and number of firefighters responding.
J. 
The Chief shall keep an inventory of all apparatus and equipment and an inventory of all hose showing dates and results of tests on each length, which shall be individually identified.
K. 
The Chief shall perform such other duties as are incumbent on the commanding officer of the Vernon Fire Department.
A. 
The Chief shall have control of all apparatus used by the Department and shall be responsible for its proper maintenance. Emergency repairs may be authorized by the Chief.
B. 
No apparatus shall be used for any purpose except for firefighting or in training. With the approval of the Chief such apparatus may be used for emergency purposes other than firefighting within the fire protection area. A written report of all such uses shall be included in the Chief's monthly report to the Town Board.
C. 
No person shall willfully damage in any manner any hose, hydrant, or fire apparatus belonging to the Town, and no vehicle shall be driven over any unprotected hose of the Vernon Fire Department when laid down on any street, private driveway or other place, to be used at any fire or alarm of fire, without the consent of the Vernon Fire Department official in command.
A. 
Authority at emergencies. The Chief or officers at any emergency are hereby vested with full and complete police authority at emergencies. Any officer of the Vernon Fire Department may cause the arrest of any person failing to give the right-of-way to the Vernon Fire Department in responding to an emergency.
B. 
Prescribing certain limits. The Chief or incident commander may prescribe certain limits in the vicinity of any emergency scene within which no person shall be permitted to enter, excepting authorized persons including, but not limited to, EMTs, firefighters and policemen and those admitted by order of any officer. The incident commander shall have the power to cause the removal of any property whenever it shall become necessary for the preservation of such property from fire, to prevent the spreading of fire or to protect the adjoining property and, during the progress of any emergency, the incident commander shall have the power to order the removal or destruction of any property necessary to prevent the further danger to life or property. The incident commander shall also have the power to cause the removal of all wires or other facilities and the turning off of all electricity or other services where the same impedes the work of the Department during the progress of the emergency.
C. 
Firefighters may enter adjacent property. Any firefighter or EMT, while acting under the direction of the Fire Chief or other officer in command, may enter upon the premises adjacent to or in the vicinity of any building or other property then on fire or involved in the emergency for the purposes of extinguishing such fire or rendering aid and, in case any person shall hinder, resist or obstruct any firefighter or EMT in the discharge of their duty as is herein provided, the person so offending shall be deemed guilty of resisting emergency personnel in the discharge of their duty.
D. 
Duties of bystanders to assist. Every person who shall be present at an emergency shall be subject to the orders of the Fire Chief or officer in command and may be required to render assistance in mitigating the emergency or in removing or guarding property. Such officers shall have power to cause the arrest of any person or persons refusing to obey the orders.
A. 
The Chief of the Vernon Fire Department shall hold the office of Fire Inspector with the power to appoint deputy inspectors, not to exceed more than four in number, who shall perform the same duties and have the same powers as the Fire Inspector.
B. 
Fire inspectors shall inspect semiannually all commercial and industrial buildings, premises and public thoroughfares within the Town limits for the purpose of noting and causing to be corrected any condition liable to cause fire or injury. (See Town of Vernon Municipal Code § 160-9, Inspections.)
C. 
Whenever or wherever in the Town any inspection by the Fire Chief or deputies reveals a hazard, the Chief or the deputy shall serve a notice in writing upon the owner of the property giving the owner reasonable time in which to correct the hazard. In the event the hazard is not corrected within the time allowed, it shall be deemed a hazardous nuisance.
D. 
The Chief shall keep a record of each property inspection which shall conform to the requirements of the state and shall make inspections as required by the State Fire Prevention Bureau.
E. 
No person shall deny the Chief or the Chiefs deputies free access to any property within the Town of Vernon upon reasonable notice for the purpose of making an inspection. No person shall hinder or obstruct the Fire Inspector in the performance of his or her duty or refuse to observe any lawful orders given by the Inspector.
A. 
The Town Board hereby establishes a fee for the provision of the following listed services by the Vernon Fire Department. The fee shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
(1) 
Ambulance and rescue services.
(2) 
Motor vehicle fire calls on highways or in Town. This shall include fire, spills, extraction or unusual or extensive emergency incident operations.
(3) 
Hazardous material incidents.
(4) 
Fire protection systems permit fees.
(5) 
Uncorrected violations.
B. 
Uncorrected violation fees shall constitute a special charge against the property under § 66.0627, Wis. Stats., and shall be invoiced to property owners in July of each year or as determined by the Town Clerk. Any fees remaining unpaid as of November 1 of each year shall be placed on the annual tax roll for collection as a special charge together with an administrative charge of $15 per parcel. All proceedings related to the collection of real estate taxes shall apply.
C. 
The Town Clerk-Treasurer and Building Inspector are authorized and directed to collect such fees based on information provided by the Vernon Fire Department.
A. 
Any person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to forfeitures of not less than $250 and not more than $1,000, together with the costs of prosecution and, in the event of nonpayment any alternative sentence shall be as established by current state law. Each day a violation of this chapter occurs shall constitute a separate offense.