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- Chapter 35 -
Fire/Rescue & Ambulance Deprtment

35.01 Establishment and Purpose
35.02 Organization
35.03 Approved by Council
35.04 Training
35.05 Compensation
35.06 Election of Officers
35.07 Fire/Rescue Chief: Duties
35.08 Obedience to Fire/Rescue Chief
35.09 Ambulance Chief: Duties
35.10 Constitution
35.11 Accidental Injury Insurance
35.12 Liability Insurance
35.13 Calls Outside City
35.14 Mutual Aid
35.15 Authority to Cite Violations
35.16 Emergency Response Service

35.01   ESTABLISHMENT AND PURPOSE.  A combined volunteer Fire/Rescue and Ambulance Department is hereby established to prevent and extinguish fires and to protect lives and property against fires, to promote fire prevention and fire safety, to answer all emergency calls for which there is no other established agency, and to provide ambulance service.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.16)

35.02   ORGANIZATION.  The department consists of the Fire Chief, the Ambulance 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 attend and actively participate in regular or special training drills or programs as directed by the respective Chief.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[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 Fire/Rescue division shall elect a Fire Chief and the Ambulance division shall elect an Ambulance Chief and such other officers as the departments’ constitution and bylaws may provide, but the election of Fire Chief and Ambulance Chief shall be subject to the approval of the Council.  In case of absence of the Fire Chief or the Ambulance Chief, the officer next in rank shall be in charge and have and exercise all the powers of Fire Chief or the Ambulance Chief.

35.07   FIRE/RESCUE CHIEF:  DUTIES.  The Fire/Rescue Chief shall perform all duties required of the Fire/Rescue 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 department’s 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/Rescue 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 fire fighting efforts of the Fire/Rescue 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/Rescue Department.  The members of the Fire/Rescue Department shall, at all times, be subject to the direction of the Fire/Rescue 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/Rescue 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 Marshal’s Division immediately.  For all fires causing an estimated damage of fifty dollars ($50.00) or more or emergency responses by the Fire/Rescue Department, file a report with the Fire Marshal’s 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/Rescue Chief’s 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/Rescue Department personnel, fire fighting 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/RESCUE CHIEF.   No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of the Fire/Rescue Chief.

35.09   AMBULANCE CHIEF:  DUTIES.  The Ambulance Chief has the following powers and duties:

1.   General.  Perform all duties required of the Ambulance Chief by law or ordinance.

2.   Authority.  When in charge of an ambulance call, direct the operation in all respects necessary in connection with any life support system and the transport of any sick and injured persons who require emergency medical care to medical facilities.

3.   Control Ambulance Calls.  Prohibit an individual, vehicle or vessel from approaching the scene of an ambulance call and remove from the scene any object, vehicle, vessel or individual that may impede or interfere with the operation of the Ambulance Department.

4.   Command.  Be charged with the duty of maintaining the efficiency, discipline and control of the Ambulance Department.  The members of the Ambulance Department shall, at all times, be subject to the direction of the Ambulance Chief.

5.   Property.  Exercise and have full control over the disposition of ambulances, tools, equipment and other property used by or belonging to the Ambulance Department.

6.   Records.  Cause to be kept records of the Ambulance Department personnel, ambulance equipment, depreciation of all equipment and apparatus, the number of responses to calls, their nature and location, and all such similar reports.

7.   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.

35.10   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.

35.11   ACCIDENTAL INJURY INSURANCE.  The Council shall contract to insure the City against liability for worker’s compensation and against statutory liability for the costs of hospitalization, nursing, and medical attention for volunteer fire fighters and ambulance personnel injured in the performance of their duties as fire fighters or ambulance personnel whether within or outside the corporate limits of the City.  All volunteer fire fighters and ambulance personnel shall be covered by the contract.

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

35.12   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)

35.13   CALLS OUTSIDE CITY.  The department shall answer calls to fires and other emergencies outside the City limits if the Fire/Rescue Chief or Ambulance Chief determines that such emergency exists and that such action will not endanger persons and property within the City limits.

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

35.14   MUTUAL AID.  Subject to approval by resolution of the Council, the department may enter into mutual aid agreements with other legally constituted Fire/Rescue and Ambulance Departments.  Copies of any such agreements shall be filed with the Clerk.

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

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    EMERGENCY RESPONSE SERVICES.  The Fire/Rescue and Ambulance Department shall provide emergency response services according to a fee schedule established by resolution adopted by the City Council.  Such fees will be assessed when the Fire/Rescue and Ambulance Department responds to fires involving any motor vehicles or to a major motor vehicle crash that requires extrication of one or more victims who are entrapped in a vehicle.  Such fees may be waived with recommendation of the Fire Chief and upon final approval by the Mayor. (Ord. 292 – Dec. 11 Supp.)