Doña Ana County, NM
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Doña Ana County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Emergency management — See Ch. 26.
Human resources policies — See Ch. 45.
Safety and loss control — See Ch. 102.
Attachment 1 - Fire District Table
[Adopted 10-13-1999 by Res. No. 1999-67; amended in its entirety 11-10-2015 by Ord. No. 281-2015]
The boundaries and back-up assignments of the individual fire districts shall be as set forth in the incorporated Fire District Table.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Fire District Table is included at the end of this chapter.
[Adopted 4-24-2007 by Ord. No. 229-07; amended in its entirety 11-10-2015 by Ord. No. 281-2015]
This article may be cited by number or as the "Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Ordinance."
This article supersedes Ordinance No. 229-07. Any rules, regulations, policies, procedures, uniform bylaws or mutual aid Agreements currently in effect that were previously enacted or entered into under the authority of Ordinance No. 229-07 shall remain in effect until amended or superseded by new rules, regulations, policies, procedures, uniform bylaws or mutual aid agreements promulgated or entered into by the County Fire Chief, including such agreements entered into under the previous title of Fire Marshal, pursuant to this article. If any provision of this article is found to be in material conflict with any provision of state law or regulation, the specific provision of state law or regulation shall control over the specific conflicting provision in this article.
A. 
The purpose of this article is to create a structure for, and to memorialize, the already existing administrative control and authority of the County over its previously established County fire districts, fire stations and personnel. Fire and emergency services within Doña Ana County are provided by Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department through the individual County fire districts, which include both County paid and County volunteer personnel. This article assigns responsibilities for coordinated fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services and other emergency services, including but not limited to mutual aid and cooperation with fire departments or other emergency services of government. In addition, this article establishes a framework for implementation of fire and emergency services plans and programs, promulgation of rules, regulations, standards, medical protocols and standard operating guidelines, including personnel rules, regulations, policies and procedures for both County paid and County volunteer personnel.
B. 
The administrative structure for the delivery of fire and emergency services within Doña Ana County, as herein established, is governed by the Doña Ana County Board of County Commissioners, through the office of Fire and Emergency Services and the County Manager, in collaboration with the Fire Districts.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COUNTY FIRE CHIEF
The fire official in charge of fire and emergency services within Doña Ana County. This individual is assigned the responsibility for management and control of all matters and concerns pertaining to the delivery and operation of fire and emergency services within Doña Ana County.
DISTRICT FIRE CHIEF
In Doña Ana County, the District Fire Chief is selected in accordance with established uniform policies and procedures or bylaws, serving under the general direction of the County Fire Chief, who is responsible for the day-to-day operational activities of the fire district. This includes staffing, recruitment, retention and training of personnel, budgeting, maintenance of County-owned stations, apparatus and equipment. The District Fire Chief may also supervise County volunteer and County paid personnel, in accordance with adopted Doña Ana County fire and emergency services rules, regulations, policies and procedures.
DOÑA ANA COUNTY FIRE OFFICERS' ASSOCIATION
An association comprised of all the fire districts' volunteer District Fire Chiefs, or their designees, from the unincorporated regions of Doña Ana County.
FIRE DISTRICTS
Doña Ana County currently has the following 16 fire districts. Districts may be added or deleted by the Board of County Commissioners as deemed necessary without amendment of this article, and the terms of this article shall apply to any new fire district so added.
District 1
Doña Ana
District 2
Anthony
District 3
New Mexico State University (not governed by this article)
District 4
La Mesa
District 5
Organ
District 6
Rincon
District 7
La Union
District 8
Radium Springs
District 9
Chaparral
District 10
Mesquite
District 11
Garfield
District 12
Fairacres
District 13
South Valley
District 14
Santa Teresa
District 15
Las Alturas
District 16
Chamberino
The Board of County Commissioners, consistent with NMSA § 59A-53-17, hereby delegates to the County Fire Chief, with the approval of the County Manager, authority to enter into mutual aid agreements with any agency or entity offering firefighting or other emergency response service, to the extent that entering into such agreements will not compromise the ability of the various fire districts or Doña Ana County generally to respond to calls for emergency response services.
A. 
Doña Ana County fire and emergency services are provided to the residents of Doña Ana County by County fire district volunteers and County paid employees.
B. 
Providing these services is consistent with the constitutionally prescribed function of government to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the general public.
C. 
In addition to already established funding, Doña Ana County will provide staffing, funding, and equipment for the provision of fire and emergency services within available resources consistent with governing standards of local, state, and national authorities.
D. 
Doña Ana County recognizes that some private, nonprofit corporations perform useful functions in support of Doña Ana County fire and emergency services. However, the County Fire Chief, in conjunction with the County Manager, retains the authority to manage fire and emergency services operations. The services provided by the County are exclusively Doña Ana County governmental activities.
E. 
It is the policy of Doña Ana County to recognize the combined experience, knowledge, dedication, and commitment of all volunteer personnel. The Doña Ana County Fire Officers' Association is a resource, and its input is valuable.
F. 
This article shall not apply to any fire district within the County operated by an institution of higher education set forth in Article 12, Section 11, of the Constitution of the State of New Mexico.
G. 
It is the policy of the Board of County Commissioners that those fire district boundaries presently existing be acknowledged and ratified. Any future changes to such boundaries, including the addition of future fire districts, shall be subject to approval by the Board of County Commissioners. The express intent of the Board of County Commissioners of Doña Ana County, and the purpose of this article, is to create a structure for, and to memorialize, the already existing administrative control and authority of the County over its previously established County fire districts, volunteer fire stations and personnel. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, nothing in this article shall be construed as in any way redefining the boundaries of or eliminating any of the existing fire districts that have been established by the Doña Ana County Board of County Commissioners and certified by the State Fire Marshal under NMSA § 59A-53-5, nor shall this article be construed as in any way creating or attempting to create a new County fire district.
A. 
County fire and emergency services are administered by the County Fire Chief, who is responsible for monitoring, overseeing, directing and coordinating all activities, including matching County administrative resources to fire district needs. The County Fire Chief shall work in collaboration with each District Fire Chief or designee in accomplishing these goals. The County Fire Chief reports directly to the County Manager or the County Manager's designee.
B. 
The County Fire Chief, in collaboration with each District Fire Chief or designee and under the direction of the County Manager, shall develop, maintain and upgrade standards, procedures, personnel rules and regulations, protocols, bylaws and recommend policies to ensure that the mission of delivering fire and emergency services is accomplished. These standards, policy recommendations, procedures, personnel rules and regulations, protocols and bylaws shall at all times be consistent with the safety and protection of all personnel, including both County paid employees and County volunteers and will collectively serve as minimum standards.
C. 
The County Fire Chief shall be responsible for the maintenance and protection of those licenses and authorities held by the County, as required by state and federal regulators, for the delivery of emergency services and shall set forth the rules, regulations, protocols, procedures, bylaws and reporting standards as required to maintain and protect those licenses and authorities.
D. 
The County Fire Chief, under the direction of the County Manager, shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with all federal, state, local laws and regulations related to staffing, recruitment, training, budgeting and all other administrative matters relating to the provision of fire and emergency services, and for the development and improvement of those services.
E. 
The County Fire Chief shall be responsible for implementing and enforcing fire and safety codes and any fire or emergency service related ordinance now in effect or hereafter adopted by Doña Ana County.
F. 
The County Fire Chief is hereby authorized to commit personnel, equipment and resources, wholly or in part, to emergency fire protection and emergency service delivery, including mutual aid, for the relief of danger to life or property from accident, explosion or natural disaster.
G. 
The County Fire Chief, in collaboration with each District Fire Chief or designee and under the direction of the County Manager, shall promulgate and enforce rules, regulations, policies, procedures and bylaws regarding County volunteer personnel matters, including disciplinary action, with the explicit intent of maintaining consistency with existing County guidelines as reasonably practicable. Personnel matters regarding County paid personnel shall be governed under the Doña Ana County Human Resources policies and procedures.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 45, Human Resources.
H. 
The County Fire Chief is authorized to arrange communications systems and networks necessary to adequately dispatch and/or communicate with facilities to dispatch equipment and personnel within Doña Ana County for the purpose of responding to fires, accidents, medical emergencies, explosives, and natural disasters.
I. 
The County Fire Chief may authorize a District Fire Chief to supervise County paid personnel assigned to that District Fire Chief's district, as may be deemed necessary for daily operations, the protection of health, welfare, and safety of the residents of the County and for the enforcement of codes and ordinances.
J. 
The County Fire Chief shall have the authority to remove, suspend, or otherwise discipline a District Fire Chief for failure to comply with provisions within this article or any rule, regulation, policy, procedure or bylaw promulgated under the authority of this article. Such disciplinary actions shall be performed in accordance with the County Human Resources policies relating specifically to volunteer firefighters as currently in existence and as hereafter developed; and accordingly, affected personnel will be afforded all due process contained therein. Replacement of the District Fire Chief shall be in accordance with all applicable rules, regulations, policies, procedures, bylaws and the Doña Ana County Human Resources policies and procedures that are applicable to volunteer firefighter personnel.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 45, Human Resources.
A. 
Each individual fire district shall have a District Fire Chief, who shall serve under the general direction of the County Fire Chief and who shall function in accordance with the Doña Ana County fire and emergency services rules, regulations, policies, procedures and bylaws.
B. 
The District Fire Chief shall maintain domicile and principal place of residence within the fire district of which he or she is a District Fire Chief and within Doña Ana County during the period of tenure as a District Fire Chief or be removed from the position.
C. 
Any current or new District Fire Chief assuming such a position after the effective date of this article who does not maintain domicile and principal place of residence within the fire district of which he or she is a District Fire Chief and within Doña Ana County shall immediately move domicile and principal place of residence to a place within the fire district of which he or she is a District Fire Chief and within Doña Ana County or be removed from the position of District Fire Chief. Should a District Fire Chief be unable or unwilling to relocate domicile and principal place of residence pursuant to this article, the Assistant District Fire Chief will assume the roles and responsibilities of the District Fire Chief until a new District Fire Chief has been selected in accordance with established uniform bylaws.
D. 
The County Fire Chief may grant an exemption or exception to the domicile and residency requirements, as defined by this policy. All decisions relating to personnel matters shall be consistent with fire and emergency services rules, regulations, policies, procedures, bylaws, and the Doña Ana County Human Resources policies and procedures that are applicable to volunteer firefighter personnel.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 45, Human Resources.
E. 
The District Fire Chief, under the general direction of the County Fire Chief, is responsible for managing the day-to-day operational activities of the fire district. This includes the supervision of staff, adherence to established guidelines for promotion, recruitment, retention, training, budgeting, and maintenance of County-owned stations, apparatus, and equipment. The District Fire Chief may, under authority delegated by the County Fire Chief, also supervise County paid personnel.
F. 
The District Fire Chief shall be responsible for the expenditure of funds allocated by the State of New Mexico to the fire district pursuant to state law and regulations, including state procurement code and the policies, rules, and regulations adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. Any District Fire Chief who knowingly violates such laws, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures relating to the expenditure of funds may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with this article and the County regulations implementing Human Resources policies and procedural due process contained therein, and in addition, may be subject to civil penalties and criminal prosecution.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 45, Human Resources, and Ch. 89, Purchasing Policy.
G. 
No District Fire Chief shall have the authority to commit Doña Ana County to the expenditure of fire funds not related to the mission of fire protection, prevention, education, suppression, and rescue.
This article recognizes the Doña Ana County Fire Officers' Association. The Doña Ana County Fire Officers' Association is comprised of all District Fire Chiefs from the unincorporated regions of Doña Ana County. The Doña Ana County Fire Officers' Association shall be an advisory association working in collaboration with the County Fire Chief, County Manager, and the Doña Ana County Board of County Commissioners.
A. 
The County Fire Chief, under the direction of the County Manager, and in collaboration with each District Fire Chief or designee, is authorized to formulate and promulgate a uniform set of rules, regulations, protocols, and procedures for the operation of all fire districts in Doña Ana County. Such rules, regulations, protocols, and procedures shall apply equally to all fire districts and to all fire and emergency services personnel. Such rules, regulations, protocols, and procedures shall also address the formation and operation of auxiliaries and junior auxiliaries of each volunteer district.
B. 
The County Fire Chief, in collaboration with each District Fire Chief or designee and under the direction of the County Manager, shall formulate these rules, regulations, protocols, and procedures using, insofar as possible and practicable, the guidelines issued by the State Fire Marshal relating to the provision of fire and emergency services within the State of New Mexico.
C. 
Proposed rules, regulations, protocols, procedures, and bylaws as well as modifications to the rules, regulations, protocols, procedures, and bylaws, shall be made and forwarded to the County Manager for review. The County Manager will review the modifications and report findings to the Board of County Commissioners. The County Manager shall approve or disapprove any and all proposed rules, regulations, protocols, procedures, and bylaws and modifications thereto. All policy recommendations will be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners for approval and adoption.
All fire and emergency services personnel responding to emergency medical service calls for the purpose of providing patient care, regardless of their level of training or education, shall do so only under prior authorization, training, and supervision of the County EMS Medical Director. The EMS Medical Director shall have the responsibility and authority to mandate and facilitate medical protocols. The County Medical Director is a contractor under the authority and contract management of the County Fire Chief.
A. 
All fire and emergency services personnel responding to fire scene investigations, protection of scene contamination and data collection shall do so only under the direction and approved training of the County Fire Chief or designee. Designated personnel shall have the responsibility and authority to mandate and facilitate fire investigation protocols and procedures to include, but not be limited to, fire-related failure analysis, fraud investigation related to loss analysis, site analysis and review, arson, and other fire and fire-related losses and fraud investigations, services, and methods.
B. 
All fire prevention related activities, including education and training, building plan reviews, and building inspections, will be under the direction of the County Fire Chief.
C. 
Subsection B above does not preclude individual District Fire Chiefs from participation in community outreach or school-based education programs.