Chapter 2.44


2.44.010    Fire department – Composition – Election of chief.

2.44.020    Fire department – Organization.

2.44.030    Fire chief.

2.44.040    Duties of assistant chiefs.

2.44.050    Powers and duties of the fire department.

2.44.060    Remuneration.

2.44.070    Workers’ compensation insurance.

2.44.080    Registration for insurance.

2.44.090    Rules and regulations.

2.44.100    Training and records.

2.44.110    Borough-owned equipment.

2.44.120    Property ownership.

2.44.990    Definitions.

2.44.010 Fire department – Composition – Election of chief.

The chief of the department and a recording secretary shall be elected by the membership of the department prior to its annual meeting at a time determined in the bylaws of the department and the secretary shall report the results of the election to the manager within 10 days following the election. The manager shall have 30 days within which to approve or reject the election. If rejected, the department shall elect a new chief within 30 days.

2.44.020 Fire department – Organization.

The department shall consist of a chief, one or more assistant chiefs and other volunteer members accepted by the department membership. In addition, professional, full-time firefighters who are borough employees shall be members of the department. The hiring committee will consist of department members appointed by the chief. The hiring committee will give recommendations for hiring to the chief. The chief shall make the final determination and recommendation for hire to the manager. Officer positions may be designated in the bylaws. Both the volunteer and professional members may serve as officers as provided in the bylaws. Changes in the membership constituting the department shall be as prescribed by law. The chief and full-time professional firefighters shall be subject to removal by the manager. Other members may resign at any time or be dismissed only as provided in the bylaws.

2.44.030 Fire chief.

The chief of the department shall be the general executive officer thereof and shall have the care, custody and control of all firefighting equipment and property of the borough held for such purpose. The chief shall drill, direct, and discipline all persons who participate in the control of fires. In emergency situations, the chief may appoint such persons as are willing to serve to assist the chief in firefighting and performing the chief’s other duties. The chief may prevent any and all persons from in any way interfering with the operations of the department and its equipment. The chief shall perform all duties required to be performed under the ordinances of the borough with relation to safety from fire or explosion. The chief shall prepare the department’s annual budget, fire service contracts, and mutual aid agreements and provide a quarterly report on the department’s activities to the assembly, and shall assist the proper authorities in any and all matters of investigation which relate to the department. Standard operating guidelines shall be developed and maintained with the chief of police on all fire department procedures. The fire chief shall perform all other fire and EMS duties as requested by the manager.

2.44.040 Duties of assistant chiefs.

The assistant chiefs shall rank next to the chief in authority. They shall, in the absence of the chief, be vested with the powers and duties of the chief. They shall, in the chief’s presence, have such powers and duties as the chief delegates to each of them. The fire chief shall provide that, in the chief’s absence, at least one assistant chief will be present to assume the powers and duties of fire prevention and control.

2.44.050 Powers and duties of the fire department.

It shall be the duty of the department, among others, to extinguish fires; to rescue persons endangered by fire; to resuscitate, and to administer first aid to, persons injured in or about burning structures, or elsewhere in case of an emergency; to promote fire prevention; and unless otherwise provided, to enforce all ordinances relating to fires, fire prevention, and safety of persons from fires in theaters, stores and other public buildings. The department is authorized and responsible for providing emergency medical service within the authorized area of service, including all areas within the Haines Borough except the area south of the southern boundary line of Township 34 South. The provisions of Chapter 2.48 HBC regarding emergency medical services apply to the department as the operating department.

2.44.060 Remuneration.

Department personnel may be hired by the manager and shall be paid such salary as the borough assembly shall authorize. The fire chief and assistant fire chiefs, officers and members of the department may receive pay for their services in such manner and amount as the assembly may, in its discretion, set from time to time.

2.44.070 Workers’ compensation insurance.

The borough shall purchase at its own expense and provide workers’ compensation insurance for department personnel in accordance with the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act of the State of Alaska.

2.44.080 Registration for insurance.

In order for a volunteer member to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, the member must be registered with the State Fire Marshal as a member of a regularly organized volunteer fire department serving the borough or serve a full-time fire department of the borough on a temporary, volunteer basis. The chief fiscal officer shall keep a roll of those eligible for such insurance with the same information regarding each volunteer member as is kept for other borough employees. All volunteer members desiring to be covered by such insurance shall register with the chief fiscal officer on the roll of volunteer members and no such person shall be accepted for enrollment until the chief of the fire department of the borough certifies such person as being an active member of the department. It shall be the duty of any volunteer member enrolled as such to submit the member’s resignation when no longer serving as an active member of the department and upon such resignation such person shall be stricken from the roll. It shall be the duty of the chief of the department to determine which members are active and to cause the chief fiscal officer to strike from the rolls the name of any person who ceases to be an active member of the department.

2.44.090 Rules and regulations.

A. The department shall be governed by an up-to-date, comprehensive set of rules and regulations, known as the bylaws, governing the discipline, training and operation of the department. The bylaws shall be approved by a majority vote of the department and maintained by the chief. The chief shall have the authority to carry out the enforcement of these rules and regulations and is authorized to suspend or remove from service any officer or firefighter as provided in the rules and regulations.

B. The bylaws must meet applicable federal, state and borough laws. When a conflict exists between the bylaws and the borough code, the code shall govern. The bylaws shall not limit the powers of the fire chief who is accountable to the manager.

2.44.100 Training and records.

A. Drill and Training. The chief or the chief’s representative shall regularly provide for suitable drills covering the operation and handling of all equipment essential for efficient department operation.

B. Records. The chief shall see that complete records are kept of all apparatus, equipment, personnel, training, inspections, fires and other department activities.

C. Reports. Current records and comparative data for previous years and recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the department shall be included in an annual report to the assembly and manager. Such other reports as may be required concerning the department in general, giving suggestions and recommendations for major improvements, listing other data so as to maintain a complete record of the activities of the department shall also be prepared and submitted by the fire chief.

2.44.110 Borough-owned equipment.

A. The chief shall be responsible to the assembly for recommending such apparatus or other firefighting equipment as may be required to maintain fire department efficiency, and for providing suitable arrangements and equipment for reporting fires or emergencies, and for notifying all members of the department to assure prompt response to such incidents.

B. The chief or the chief’s authorized representative shall have power to assign equipment for response to calls for outside aid where agreements with other areas are in force and in other cases only when the absence of such equipment will not jeopardize protection of the borough.

C. No unauthorized person shall use any fire apparatus or equipment for any purpose, nor shall any person willfully and without proper authorization take away or conceal any article used in any way by the department.

2.44.120 Property ownership.

All property of any type owned by the department is, becomes and shall remain the property of the borough under the custody and control of the department, except all fire hydrants and water supplies thereto maintained by the department of public works in a manner consistent with implementation and execution of the department’s duties. That property purchased by the Haines volunteer fire department nonprofit corporation shall be the property of that corporation subject to any agreements made between it and the Haines volunteer fire department.

2.44.990 Definitions.

Whenever the following words or terms are used in this chapter, they shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section:

“Department” means the Haines volunteer fire department;

“EMS” means emergency medical services;

“Member” means any person duly elected and/or appointed to the Haines volunteer fire department.