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Ordinance #19 - Joint Fire
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JOINT FIRE ORDINANCE
(Ord. No. 19)
 
An ordinance to establish a joint fire department between the Townships of Berrien and Pipestone and the Village of Eau Claire; establish a fire board and define jurisdiction and authority of the above boards and repeal any parts of portions of ordinances inconsistent herewith.
 
THE TOWNSHIP VILLAGE OF BERRIEN, BERRIEN COUNTY, MICHIGAN ORDAINS:
 
192.001           Scope, purpose and intent.
 
Sec. 1. This ordinance is adopted pursuant to the authority granted the Township boards under PA 33 of 1951. The purpose of this ordinance is to provide that the Townships of Berrien and Pipestone and the Village of Eau Claire Boards shall hereby establish the Berrien-Pipestone-Eau Claire Fire Department; to establish jurisdiction and authority to adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of personnel and maintenance of equipment; to employ and appoint a chief, firefighters and officers; and to prescribe the powers and duties of the fire department volunteers and employees.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)
 
192.002           Fire department: establishment, funding, powers and duties.
 
Sec. 2. There is hereby established the Berrien-Pipestone-Eau Claire Fire Department. The Township boards and Village, acting by resolution, shall appoint such persons who, based on experience, training, and qualifications would, in its discretion, best perform the duties associated with providing fire protection to the citizens of Berrien Township/Village.
The Township boards and Village of Eau Claire shall approve an annual appropriation for the operation and maintenance of the department and its equipment, and for the purpose shall have the authority to use general funds, establish user fees, or raise revenues in any other manner provided for under law for the operation and maintenance of the department; it shall provide for payment of any debts incurred incidental to its continued operation; it shall purchase necessary equipment; and/or construct public buildings for uses inci­dental to the maintenance and operation of a fire department. The fire board shall establish rules and regulations for the operations of the department and the care of the equipment.
The Township and Village will pay all housing expenses. Both Townships will share on a prorated basis the firefighting expenses of trucks and equipment. The prorated basis for the upcoming year would be determined at the annual joint meeting. Any receipts from operation will be subtracted before expenses are prorated to the Townships and Village.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)
 
192.003           Fire board.
 
Sec. 3.
 
ARTICLE 1: Organization
1.      The fire board shall consist of six (6) members, two (2) from each unit involved.
A.     Qualifications:
                                                             (a)         Not active fireman
                                                            (b)         Registered voter
                                                             (c)         Resident of appointed area
2.      Members to be appointed by respective Township boards and village council.
3.      Members to serve two (2) years, one to be appointed each year.
4.      A member may be recalled at any time by the body who appointed him upon showing just cause and given due notice.
5.      Members to receive a rate of pay established by each respective Township board and village council.
 
ARTICLE 2: Operation
 
1.      To perform its duties the board shall have monthly meetings.
2.      If deemed necessary a special meeting may be called by the Township boards or village council at any convenient time.
3.      To promote fuller understanding and efficiency the fire board shall attend a joint meeting of the Township boards and village council once each year on the 3rd Tuesday of January.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)
 
192.004           Duties of fire board.
 
Sec. 4.
1.      The fire board from its membership shall select the following officers:
A.     Chairman
(a)    Duties:
(1)   Conduct all meetings in a businesslike manner.
(2)   Call special meetings if need arises.
B.     Secretary-Treasurer
(a)    Duties:
(1)   Record and preserve minutes of all meetings.
(2)   Present all approved bills to proper Township and village for recommended payment.
 
2.      The fire board shall appoint a chief who shall be the chief administrative officer of the department. The chief shall be accountable to the fire board for the efficient and effective operation of the department and for the department's compliance with all state laws, Township ordinances and policies. The chief shall serve at the pleasure of the board.
3.      The fire board may incur expenditures against the department budget as appropriated by the Township and village boards. The fire board will monitor the unencumbered balances remaining in the department budget and shall make timely recommendations for budget amendments at such time as the need for such amendments becomes known. The department's expenditures shall not exceed the amounts appropriated. Capital outlay purchases that exceed $1,000.00 shall conform to Township policy regarding written quotes and competitive bidding.
4.      The fire board may adopt rules and regulations regarding the operation of the department, including but not limited to personnel policies, hiring and firing employees, safety regulations, maintenance and repairs to depart­ment equipment and vehicles, purchases and any other matters relevant to the safe, efficient and economical interests of the department.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)
 
192.005           Fire chief; duties and responsibilities.
 
Sec. 5.
 
1.      The chief shall recommend the appointment of an assistant chief. The balance of the officers, captains, lieutenants, and fire fighters shall be elected by the Firefighter's Association in an amount as may be deemed necessary for the efficient operation of the Department; all positions are subject to Fire Board approval.
2.      The chief shall develop written administrative rules to increase the effi­ciency and effectiveness of the department, including pre-planning and post-incident critiques, regulations, assignment and scheduling of person­nel, and shall plan for the long-range needs of the department.
3.      The chief shall review all personnel and operating problems with and shall report monthly to the fire board. A written report shall be filed annually with the Township boards and village council.
4.      As needed, the chief shall notify the Township supervisor of major problems or issues that require board action. When such problems must be resolved immediately and it is impractical or will endanger the health, safety or welfare of the Township to wait until the next board meeting to resolve the issue, the Township supervisors shall be empowered to resolve the issue or problem, subject to the subsequent approval of the board.
5.      The chief shall hold regular department informational and training meet­ings.
6.      The chief shall also be responsible for the following:
A.     Supervise the extinguishment of all fires that endanger the health, safety and welfare of Berrien Township and/or Village.
B.     Enforce Township fire ordinances or fire prevention codes.
C.     Ensure that all personnel are trained and qualified for the duties that they are expected to fulfill.
D.     Ensure that fire inspection and community fire prevention programs are conducted.
E.      E ... Ensure that all equipment and buildings are properly maintained and in good working order.
F.      Ensure that all department personnel comply with departmental and board rules, regulations and policies.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)
 
192.006           Officers.
 
Sec. 6.
 
1.      There shall be a chain of command established among the department officers in descending order of rank, from chief to the assistant chief, captain(s), lieutenant(s), engineers, to firefighters. Each rank shall obey the orders of their superior officers. Temporary officers may be appointed by the senior officer present at any emergency to ensure the continuity of the chain of command. Such temporary appointments shall terminate when the officer with the given responsibility becomes available.
2.      The chief shall establish a job description for each rank. Each command officer shall be responsible that orders are carried out by subordinates.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)
 
192.07                          Firefighters
 
Sec. 7.
 
1.      Applicants for vacant firefighter positions shall be of good character, possess a good driving record, and shall be screened by a physician of the fire board's choice and at the Township's and village expense. The physician's examina­tion shall determine if the applicant has any pre-existing physical condi­tions that would preclude the applicant from performing the duties associ­ated with firefighting.
2.      All firefighters shall serve an initial probationary period for a period of not less than one (1) year. At the discretion of the chief, the probationary period may be extended. At the conclusion of the minimum probationary period, the chief may recommend that a probationary firefighter that has met all of the qualifications contained in the firefighter job description be given perma­nent firefighter status by the fire board.
3.      A probationary firefighter shall be entitled to all compensation and benefits afforded to permanent firefighters, but shall be restricted to perform only those duties for which he/she has been specifically trained.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)
 
192.008           Disciplinary procedure.
 
Sec. 8.
 
1.      Violations of any Township ordinances, board rules, department adminis­trative regulations, or convictions of a felony shall subject any personnel involved to disciplinary proceedings. A violation shall be documented by the chief upon good cause shown, or when a violation occurs in his presence.
2.      The chief shall provide a copy of the written reprimand to an alleged violator. The written reprimand shall state the rule that was allegedly violated, the nature of any disciplinary action, and the consequences of any further reoccurrences. Disciplinary action may range from a reprimand to a suspension, demotion or dismissal, or a combination of any of the above, depending on:
A.     Seriousness of violation.
B.     Consequences to the safety of others by the violation.
C.     Potential harm to the department or the Township.
D.     Prior record of the individual.
3.      Any disciplinary action may be appealed to the fire board, who shall affirm, deny, or modify the disciplinary action taken by the chief. The fire board may, on its own initiative, bring charges against any fire department personnel. Disciplinary action initiated by the fire board shall follow the above procedures, except that the responsibilities designated above to the chief shall be performed by the Township board.
4.      In addition to such administrative rules that may be promulgated by the chief, theft of property shall be cause of dismissal.
5.      Firefighters shall not respond to emergencies, meetings or training sessions while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substances.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)
 
192.009           Compensation.
 
Sec. 9.
 
Compensation to firefighters shall be in such amounts as may be deter­mined from time to time by the Township board upon recommendation from the fire board. The department shall keep accurate records that indicate the amount of compensable time served by all personnel. The time records approved by chief shall be submitted monthly to the Township board and village council for payment.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)
 
192.010           Public contact.
 
Sec. 10.
1.      The fire chief, or his/her designee, may release facts regarding fires or other emergencies to the news media. All other personnel shall refer all media inquiries to the chief or designee.
2.      Members of the public will be allowed in the fire station only when accompanied by a member of the department.
3.      The public will always be treated courteously and professionally by all department personnel.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)
 
192.011           Soliciting donations.
 
Sec. 11.
 
1.      All donations and all revenues solicited in the name of the fire department shall be deposited with the Township treasurers. Such funds will be disbursed by the Township boards.
2.      The personnel of the fire department are authorized to incorporate a nonprofit organizations shall be known as the Eau Claire Firefighters Association. The purpose of the Association shall be to assist in all phases of the operation of the Berrien-Pipestone-Eau Claire Fire Department for the betterment of Fire and Rescue Protection in the area covered by the Department. The association shall be incorporated under the laws of the State of Michigan, with by-laws approved by the fire board. The association may elect its own officers. The financial records of the association shall be audited annually by the fire board.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)
 
192.012           Savings clause.
 
Sec. 12. Should any portion of this ordinance be declared unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this ordinance shall remain in full force and effect unaffected by the portion which might be so declared to be unenforceable.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)
 
192.013           Effective date.
 
Sec. 13. This ordinance shall take effect on March 26, 1992. All ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.
(Ord. No. 19, Eff. Mar. 31, 1989; Ord. No. 24, Eff. Mar. 26, 1992)


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