Article 1. Fire Department

§3-101   Falls City Code   §3-111

Article 1. Fire Department

§3-101    MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENT; OPERATION AND FUNDING.  The Municipality operates the Municipal Fire Department through the Municipal Fire Chief and Firemen.  The Governing Body, for the purpose of defraying the cost of the management, maintenance, and improving the Fire Department may each year levy a tax not exceeding the maximum limits prescribed by State law, on the actual valuation of all real estate and personal property within the Municipality that is subject to taxation.  The Fund shall be at all times in the possession of the Municipal Treasurer.  The Fire Chief shall manage the Fire Department and it shall be his duty to inform the Governing Body when any of the fire engines, hose, ladders, or other apparatus needs repair.  Upon the written consent and directive of the Governing Body, the Fire Chief shall cause the repair, improvement, or maintenance of the said equipment and shall personally supervise and approve of the same.  No obligation, except in an emergency or when the expenditure is of a minor nature, shall be incurred on behalf of the Fire Department unless the obligation was previously authorized by the Governing Body.  (Ref.  17-147, 17-718, 17-953, 18-1202 RS Neb.)  

§3-102    MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENT; MEMBERSHIP.  The Fire Chief shall appoint no more than twenty-five (25) members for each Fire Department Company subject to the review and approval of the Governing Body.  All vacancies shall be filled in this manner.  Said members shall be considered to be employees of the Municipality for the purpose of providing them with workmen's compensation and other benefits.  Each member shall be entitled to a term life insurance policy in the amount of at least five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) for death from any cause to age sixty-five (65) and such policy shall, at the option of the individual fireman, be convertible to a permanent form of life insurance at age sixty-five (65); Provided, that the firemen covered are actively and faithfully performing the duties of their position.  The Fire Department shall consist of so many members as may be decided by the Governing Body.  The members may organize themselves in any way they may decide, subject to the review of the Governing Body.  They may hold meetings and engage in social activities with the approval of the Governing Body.  The secretary shall upon request keep a record of all meetings and shall make a report to the Governing Body of all meetings and activities of the Fire Department.  The Governing Body may, for services rendered, compensate or reward any member or members of the Fire Department in an amount set by resolution.  All members of the Fire Department shall be subject to such rules and regulations, and shall perform such duties, as may be prescribed or required of them by the Fire Chief or the Governing Body.  The members of the Fire Department shall, during the time of a fire or great public danger, have and exercise the powers and duties of policemen and shall have full power and authority to arrest all persons guilty of any violation of the Municipal Code, or the laws of the State of Nebraska.

Provided, however, volunteer firefighters and rescue squad members testifying as a witness in connection with his or her officially assigned duties in that capacity alone shall not be deemed employees of the State of Nebraska or of the Municipality.  (Ref.  33-139.01, 35-101 through 35-103, 35-108 RS Neb.)

§3-103    MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENT; RECORDS.  The Fire Chief shall keep or cause to be kept a record of all meetings of the Fire Department, the attendance record of all members, a record of all fires, and shall make a full report of such records to the Municipal Clerk on the first (1st) Monday in April each year.  The Fire Chief shall report from month to month any proposed additions or changes in the roster for proper action of the Council.  The record of any fire shall include the cause, origin, circumstances, property involved, and whether criminal conduct may have been involved.  In the event of sizable property damage, he shall include the information of whether such losses were covered by insurance, and if so, in what amount.  All records shall be available to the public at any reasonable time.

§3-104    MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENT; DRIVER.  The Mayor shall, with the consent of the Council, appoint the drivers for the fire trucks of the Fire Department.  Such persons shall be mechanics or persons qualified to operate and care for the same.  Such persons shall be members of the Fire Department, and shall be under the authority and control of the Chief of the Fire Department.  Whenever possible, the Mayor shall appoint the choices of the members of the Fire Department to be the drivers for the fire trucks each year.

§3-105    MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENT; HOSE TESTED.  All fire hose shall be pressure tested at least one (1) time each year.

§3-106   MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENT; DRILLS.  The Municipal Fire Department shall hold departmental fire drills at least six (6)times per year at such times as the members of the Fire Department shall decide.    

§3-107    MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENT; FIRES.  It shall be the duty of the Fire Department to use all proper means for the extinguishment of fires; to protect property within the Municipality; and to secure the observance of all ordinances, laws, and other rules and regulations with respect to fires and fire prevention.    

§3-108  MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENT; DISTANT FIRES.  Upon the permission of the Mayor or Fire Chief, such fire equipment of the Municipality as may be designated by the Governing Body as rural equipment may be used beyond the corporate limits to extinguish reported fires.

§3-109    MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENT; FIGHTING DISTANT FIRES.  The firemen of the Municipality shall be considered as acting in the performance and within the scope of their duties in fighting fire or saving property or life outside the corporate limits of the Municipality when directed to do so by the Mayor or Chief of the Fire Department or some person authorized to act for such Chief and in so doing, may take such fire equipment of the Municipality as may be designated by the Governing Body.

§3-110    MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENT; FIRE INVESTIGATION.  It shall be the duty of the Fire Department to investigate or cause to be investigated, the cause, origin, and circumstances of every fire occurring in the Municipality in which property has been destroyed or damaged in excess of fifty dollars ($50.00).  All fires of unknown origin shall be reported, and such officers shall especially make an investigation and report as to whether such fire was the result of carelessness, accident, or design.  Such investigation shall be begun within two (2) days of the occurrence of such fire and the State Fire Marshal shall have the right to supervise and direct the investigation whenever he deems it expedient or necessary.  The officer making the investigation of fires occurring within the Municipality shall immediately notify the State Fire Marshal and shall, within one (1) week of the occurrence of the fire, furnish him with a written statement of all the facts relating to the cause and origin of the fire, and such further information as he may call for.  (Ref.  81-506 RS Neb.)

§3-111   MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENT; VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS; PREFERENCE.  A preference shall be given to Falls City Volunteer Firemen seeking employment with the City of Falls City Fire Department.  (Amended: Ord. #97-136)