Fire Department Ordinance



ARTICLE 100: Title, Purpose, Authority, Definition

Section 101. Title – This ordinance shall be known as “An Ordinance Creating a Municipal Fire Department for the Town of Bowdoinham”.

Section 102. Purpose – The purposes of this ordinance are to establish in the manner provided by law a municipal fire department, to outline the organization of ranking and non ranking positions within the department and to clarify the powers and duties of the Fire Chief.

The further purpose of this ordinance is to provide the maximum legal protection available to the department’s Fire Chief and fire fighters and to best protect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of Bowdoinham.

Section 103. Authority – This ordinance is enacted pursuant to 30-A. M.R.S.A. 3001 et seq., and 3151 et seq.

Section 104. Definitions and Qualifications

104.1 Municipal Fire Department – A municipal fire department means an organized fire fighting unit established pursuant to this ordinance and supported by the annual municipal budget.

104.2 Fire Chief – The Fire Chief shall be the department head and executive officer of the Fire Department and shall be solely responsible for the supervision and maintenance of the Department. The Fire Chief shall make such rules and regulations and issue such orders as are consistent with state laws, ordinances of the Town of Bowdoinham, and from time to time be necessary for the best interest of the Department.

104.3 Ranking Officer – The ranking membership of the department shall be made up of not more than two Assistant Fire Chiefs and one Captain per truck.

104.4 Municipal Firefighters – A municipal firefighter shall mean an active non ranking member, not younger than 18 years of age, whether full-time, part-time or on call, who receives compensation or reimbursement stipend from the municipality for providing fire service for the municipality.

104.5 Junior Firefighter – A junior firefighter shall mean a member not younger than 15 nor older than 18, whose parent(s) or guardian have given written permission (on file in the Fire Chief’s Office) to participate in the activities of the Fire Department excluding presence or participation on a fire scene. The Fire Chief shall determine the amount Junior Firefighters shall receive for compensation or annual reimbursement stipend. Junior Firefighters shall be considered volunteer trainees.

ARTICLE 200: Establishment, Duties and Organization of the Municipal Fire

Section 201. Establishment – There shall be a municipal Fire Department for the Town of Bowdoinham as established by this ordinance and officially referred to as the “Bowdoinham Volunteer Fire Department”.

Section 202. Duties – The duties of the municipal Fire Department shall be to:

202.1 Extinguish fires and save life and property therefrom;

202.2 Inspect for potential fire hazards, order the removal or remedying of dangerous fire conditions in the community and otherwise enforce local and state fire laws;

202.3 Demolish or pull down any building which may be on fire, or which may be deemed necessary to remove in order to prevent the spread of fire or the increase of danger to life or property;

202.4 Maintain and operate the department’s property and equipment.

202.5 Upon due consideration of the public safety needs of the Town the Fire Chief may give approval for the department to render mutual aid to any community within the State of Maine that is in a fire emergency. The Fire Chief shall notify the Town Manager of the details of such action.

202.6 Issue burning permits to residents of Bowdoinham as safety and weather conditions permit.

Section 203. Organization - The organization of the municipal fire department shall consist of not more than seven ranking positions – One (1) Fire Chief, Two (2) Assistant Fire Chiefs and One (1) Captain for each truck. The volunteer firefighter membership, (excluding ranking officers and Junior Firefighters) shall not exceed thirty (30) members. The Fire Chief may limit the number of Junior Fire Fighters as he deems advisable.

ARTICLE 300: Appointment, Supervision, Term, Compensation, Powers, Duties and
Supervisory Authority, Appointment Authority of the Fire Chief

Section 301. Appointment – The Fire Chief shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen.

Section 302. Supervision – As the administrative department head of the municipal Fire Department the Fire Chief shall be supervised by the Town Manager.

Section 303. Term - The Fire Chief shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen for a term of three (3) years.

Section 304. Compensation - The compensation of the Fire Chief shall be established by the Board of Selectmen and included in the annual municipal budget.

Section 305. Powers – The Fire Chief shall have the powers and duties established by Title 30-A M.R.S.A., Section 3153 as amended, except that administrative rules and regulations promulgated by the Fire Chief shall not be effective until approved by the municipal officers.

Section 306. Duties – The Duties of the Fire Chief shall be to:

1. Superintend the activities and the mission of the Fire Department
2. Establish Departmental Rules, Regulations and Standard Operating Procedures.
3. Provide the Town Manager with an annual report of the departments activities for the past year and plans for development or improvement for the new year to be printed in the town’s annual report.
4. Recommend ordinances or amendments with a view toward improving the protection of life and property;
5. Perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Town Manager or State law.
6. The Fire Chief shall abide by a written job description approved by the Board of Selectmen and known as Addendum A. to this ordinance. Such job description shall be amended from time to time as to keep the department’s activities proficient. Such amendment shall be approved by the Board of Selectmen without legislative action and shall not be considered a violation of the ordinance.
7. The Fire Chief, with the approval of the Town Manager, may negotiate and authorize mutual aid agreements, with the municipal officers or appropriate fire department officials in contiguous or neighboring towns.
8. The Fire Chief shall develop an annual departmental budget and submit it to the Town Manager for review.

Section 307. Supervisory Responsibilities – The Fire Chief shall supervise all members of the municipal fire department;

Section 308. Appointing Authority – a.) Ranking Officers - The Fire Chief shall have the authority to appoint a member of the municipal Fire Department to serve as Assistant Chief and the company Captains. These individuals shall hold these positions at the pleasure of the Fire Chief. The Fire Chief shall appoint a Training Officer, a Safety Officer and a Departmental Clerk from within the membership and create other positions he/she deems necessary for the proficient working of the department. The Fire Chief shall report his/her appointments to the Town Manager in writing within ten (10) days of the appointment.

Section 309. Removal – After notice and hearing, the Board of Selectmen may remove the Fire Chief from office for just cause.

ARTICLE 400: Duties and Responsibilities, Appointment and Removal, & Compensation of Municipal Firefighters

Section 401. Duties and Responsibilities - Municipal Firefighters shall have the powers and duties set forth in 30A, M.R.S.A. Sec. 3151, et. seq. and as set forth in any rules, regulations and standard operating procedures as recommended by the Fire Chief and approved by the Board of Selectmen.

Section 402. Appointment & Removal - The Fire Chief may appoint or remove individuals from the membership according to the rules, regulations and Standard Operating Procedures that have been established for the department. The Fire Chief shall report such changes in the membership to the Town Manager in writing within ten (10) days of the action. The Fire Chief may remove a member from the Department according to the instructions in the Standard Operating Procedures.

Section 403. Compensation - Compensation or a reimbursement stipend shall be recommended by the Fire Chief but established by the Board of Selectmen and included in the annual municipal budget.

ARTICLE 500: Privileges, Immunities – The Fire Chief and all members of the municipal fire department shall enjoy the privileges and immunities provided by the Maine Tort Claims Act when acting in his/her appointed official position.

ARTICLE 600. Severability, Effective Date

Section 601. Severability – The invalidity of any portion of this ordinance shall not invalidate any other part thereof.

Section 601. Effective Date – This ordinance shall be effective upon adoption by the voters at town meeting.

End of Ordinance

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Adopted by the Voters of the Town of Bowdoinham at a Special Town Meeting duly called for by the Board of Selectmen and held on Wednesday, February 23, 2000.

Attest: Kimberly Sparks, Town Clerk