CHAPTER 35

FIRE DEPARTMENT

35.01  Establishment and Purpose

35.09  Constitution

35.02  Organization

35.10  Accidental Injury Insurance

35.03  Approved by Council

35.11  Liability Insurance

35.04  Training

35.12  Calls Outside Fire District

35.05  Compensation

35.13  Mutual Aid

35.06  Election of Officers

35.14  Charges for Services

35.07  Fire Chief: Duties

35.15  Authority to Cite Violations

35.08  Obedience to Fire Chief

35.16  Firefightersí and Emergency Response Personnel

 

Association

35.01   ESTABLISHMENT AND PURPOSE.  A volunteer fire department is hereby established to prevent and extinguish fires and to protect lives and property against fires, to promote fire prevention and fire safety, and to answer all emergency calls for which there is no other established agency.  

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.16)

35.02   ORGANIZATION.  The department consists of the Fire Chief and such other officers and personnel as may be authorized by the Council.  

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])

35.03   APPROVED BY COUNCIL.  No person having otherwise qualified shall be appointed to the department until such appointment is submitted to and approved by a majority of the Council members.

35.04   TRAINING.  All members of the department shall meet the minimum training standards established by the State Fire Marshal and attend and actively participate in regular or special training drills or programs as directed by the Fire Chief.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 100B.2[4])

35.05   COMPENSATION.  Members of the department shall be designated by rank and receive such compensation as shall be determined by resolution of the Council.  

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])

35.06   ELECTION OF OFFICERS.  The department shall elect a Fire Chief and such other officers as its constitution and bylaws may provide, but the election of the Fire Chief shall be subject to the approval of the Council.  In case of absence of the Fire Chief, the officer next in rank shall be in charge and have and exercise all the powers of Fire Chief.  The Fire Chief will at minimum be certified as a Firefighter I, and a First Responder, for medical services.  Should these certifications change, the Fire Chief will be required to obtain the equivalent or higher of the available certifications in fire operations and medical services.

35.07   FIRE CHIEF:  DUTIES.  The Fire Chief shall perform all duties required of the Fire Chief by law or ordinance, including but not limited to the following:

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])

1.         Enforce Laws.  Enforce ordinances and laws regulating fire prevention and the investigation of the cause, origin and circumstances of fires.

2.         Technical Assistance.  Upon request, give advice concerning private fire alarm systems, fire extinguishing equipment, fire escapes and exits and development of fire emergency plans.

3.         Authority at Fires.  When in charge of a fire scene, direct an operation as necessary to extinguish or control a fire, perform a rescue operation, investigate the existence of a suspected or reported fire, gas leak, or other hazardous condition, or take any other action deemed necessary in the reasonable performance of the departmentís duties.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 102.2)

4.         Control of Scenes.  Prohibit an individual, vehicle or vessel from approaching a fire scene and remove from the scene any object, vehicle, vessel or individual that may impede or interfere with the operation of the fire department.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 102.2)

5.         Authority to Barricade.  When in charge of a fire scene, place or erect ropes, guards, barricades or other obstructions across a street, alley, right-of-way, or private property near the location of the fire or emergency so as to prevent accidents or interference with the firefighting efforts of the fire department, to control the scene until any required investigation is complete, or to preserve evidence related to the fire or other emergency.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 102.3)

6.         Command.  Be charged with the duty of maintaining the efficiency, discipline and control of the fire department.  The members of the fire department shall, at all times, be subject to the direction of the Fire Chief.

7.         Property.  Exercise and have full control over the disposition of all fire apparatus, tools, equipment and other property used by or belonging to the fire department.

8.         Notification.  Whenever death, serious bodily injury, or property damage in excess of two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) has occurred as a result of a fire, or if arson is suspected, notify the State Fire Marshalís Division immediately.  For all other fires causing an estimated damage of fifty dollars ($50.00) or more or emergency responses by the Fire Department, file a report with the Fire Marshalís Division within ten (10) days following the end of the month.  The report shall indicate all fire incidents occurring and state the name of the owners and occupants of the property at the time of the fire, the value of the property, the estimated total loss to the property, origin of the fire as determined by investigation, and other facts, statistics, and circumstances concerning the fire incidents. 

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 100.2 & 100.3)

9.         Right of Entry.  Have the right, during reasonable hours, to enter any building or premises within the Fire Chiefís jurisdiction for the purpose of making such investigation or inspection which under law or ordinance may be necessary to be made and is reasonably necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 100.12)

10.       Recommendation.  Make such recommendations to owners, occupants, caretakers or managers of buildings necessary to eliminate fire hazards. 

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 100.13)

11.       Assist State Fire Marshal.  At the request of the State Fire Marshal, and as provided by law, aid said marshal in the performance of duties by investigating, preventing and reporting data pertaining to fires.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 100.4)

12.       Records.  Cause to be kept records of the fire department personnel, firefighting equipment, depreciation of all equipment and apparatus, the number of responses to alarms, their cause and location, and an analysis of losses by value, type and location of buildings.

13.       Reports.  Compile and submit to the Mayor and Council an annual report of the status and activities of the department as well as such other reports as may be requested by the Mayor or Council.

35.08   OBEDIENCE TO FIRE CHIEF.   No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of the Fire Chief.

35.09   CONSTITUTION.  The department shall adopt a constitution and bylaws as they deem calculated to accomplish the object contemplated, and such constitution and bylaws and any change or amendment to such constitution and bylaws before being effective, must be approved by the Council.

35.10   ACCIDENTAL INJURY INSURANCE.  The Council shall contract to insure the City against liability for workerís compensation and against statutory liability for the costs of hospitalization, nursing, and medical attention for volunteer firefighters injured in the performance of their duties as firefighters whether within or outside the corporate limits of the City.  All volunteer firefighters shall be covered by the contract.  

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 85.2, 85.61 and Sec. 410.18)

35.11   LIABILITY INSURANCE.  The Council shall contract to insure against liability of the City or members of the department for injuries, death or property damage arising out of and resulting from the performance of departmental duties within or outside the corporate limits of the City.  

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 670.2 & 517A.1)

35.12   CALLS OUTSIDE FIRE DISTRICT.  The department shall answer calls to fires and other emergencies outside the Fire District if the Fire Chief determines that such emergency exists and that such action will not endanger persons and property within the Fire District.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.4 [2 & 3])

35.13   MUTUAL AID.  Subject to approval by resolution of the Council, the department may enter into mutual aid agreements with other legally constituted fire departments.  Copies of any such agreements shall be filed with the Clerk.  

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.4 [2 & 3])

35.14   CHARGES FOR SERVICES.  The Fire Chief may cause to have charges assessed for all services rendered by the department against individuals, businesses, or any other entities.  Charges may not be assessed (unless otherwise provided for herein) against residents/taxpayers of the First Fire District of Scott County, Iowa.  Charges may also be assessed to any individuals, businesses, or any other entities where it is determined that:  (i) any illegal burning under any law in effect in the jurisdiction where the burning occurred (or any other illegal activity requiring the departmentís services) has taken place; (ii) hazardous materials are located where the incident has occurred; (iii) arson has been found; or (iv) insurance recovery reimbursement options are available.  The Fire Chief shall initially determine (and periodically adjust) reasonable charges for the departmentís services based upon current, industry-wide, standard practices for such activities, subject to the following criteria:

1.                  When charges are assessed there shall be a minimum charge of one hour with a minimum incremental charge of one-half hour thereafter.

2.                  Charges for such services under this section involving activities or situations occurring on private property within the City may be assessed against the property pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 50 of this Code.

3.                  The charge for such services shall be commuted to include a rate per hour, per vehicle, and per man-hour per firefighter responding to a call for assistance.  An additional charge may be assessed to reimburse the department for extraordinary expenses of materials used in rendering such services.  No charge shall be made for services for which the total charge would be less than $50.00.

4.                  All revenue from the man-hour charges assessed pursuant to this section shall be deposited to a Firefighters Reimbursement Fund of the Fire Department.

5.                  The funds shall be distributed according to the Princeton Fire Departmentís SOG.

6.                  Replacement cost of disposable equipment, equipment that is damaged or must be disposed of will be added to the bill.  An additional 25 percent will be added to cover the cost of replacement administration.

7.                  In the event the incident resulted from gross negligence or wanton or intentional misconduct, the reimbursement rate shall be triple the hourly base and triple the replacement cost of equipment.

8.                  An additional cost incurred by the City of Princeton for cleanup or disposal will be billed to and/or assessed to the property of the responsible party.

9.                  The current charges are:  (i) for engines, $250.00 per hour; (ii) for rescues/services, $175.00 per hour; (iii) for each man-hour, $17.33 per hour.

35.15   AUTHORITY TO CITE VIOLATIONS.  Fire officials acting under the authority of Chapter 100 of the Code of Iowa may issue citations in accordance to Chapter 805 of the Code of Iowa, for violations of State and/or local fire safety regulations.  

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 100.41)

35.16   FIREFIGHTERSí AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE PERSONNEL ASSOCIATION.  Firefighters and emergency response personnel may form an association and non-profit corporation to promote the welfare of emergency responders, fire prevention, emergency response capabilities, and other civic and social duties as specified in association and corporation articles of incorporation and bylaws.  Such articles and bylaws are on file with the City of Princeton and the Princeton Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.