There shall be and hereby is established a fire department in the city. The department should have a membership of 25 members, to consist of a chief, appointed and confirmed by the governing body. There shall be a total of two companies as follows:

(a)   One company for the city;

(b)   One company for the rural areas.

(Code 1973, 6-101; Code 1995)

Members of the fire department shall be volunteers. They shall meet at least once each month for practice and drill. The chief shall keep a record of attendance of such meetings. Any member who shall fail to attend three consecutive meetings shall automatically become expelled from membership. The chief and other members of the department shall receive payment as provided for by the governing body of the city.

(Code 1973, 6-102; Code 1990)

The chief of the fire department shall be under the supervision of the commissioner of police, fire and parks and shall have superintendency and control over and be responsible for the care and condition of the fire apparatus and equipment. It shall be the chief’s duty to see that all such apparatus and equipment shall be at all times ready for immediate use, and the chief shall submit a written report as to its condition to the board of commissioners at their first meeting in October in each year.

(Code 1973, 6-103)

The chief of the fire department shall be responsible for the discipline of members and is hereby given the authority to suspend or expel any member for the refusal to obey orders, or for misconduct or failure to do his or her duty at a fire. However, no person shall be expelled from the fire department without due process. The chief shall also have the right to summon any and all persons present to aid in extinguishing a fire, or to aid in removing personal property from any building on fire or in danger thereof, and in guarding the same.

(Code 1973, 6-104)

The chief of the fire department shall have full power, control and command over all persons whomsoever present at fires, and the chief shall direct the use of all fire apparatus and equipment, and command all firemen in the discharge of their duties. The chief shall take such measures as he or she may deem necessary in the preservation and protection of property and the extinguishing of fires.

(Code 1973, 6-105)

The chief of the fire department shall keep in convenient form a complete record of all fires. Such information shall include the time and location, construction of building, owner, occupancy, how extinguished, value of building and contents, loss on building and contents, insurance on building and contents, members responding to the alarm, and any other information deemed advisable.

(Code 1973, 6-106)

It shall be the duty of the chief of the fire department to adopt all prudent measures for the prevention of fires and for this purpose the chief or an assistant under his or her direction may, upon request or whenever he or she has reason to believe that the safety of life and property demands it, and as often as he or she may deem necessary, enter any building, yard or premises in the city during reasonable hours for the purpose of inspection. Where dangerous, unsafe or hazardous conditions are found to exist the chief shall give directions for the alteration, change or removal or better care or management of the same as the chief may deem proper, and such directions shall be obeyed and complied with by the person directed in that regard and at their expense.

(Code 1973, 6-107)

In the absence of the chief, the assistant chief shall perform all the duties and have all the authority and responsibility of the chief as conferred by this article.

(Code 1973, 6-108)

All fire apparatus and equipment is hereby given and granted the exclusive right-of-way over and through all streets, avenues, alleys and public thoroughfares in said city while enroute to fires or in response to any alarm of fire, and no person shall in any manner obstruct or hinder said apparatus.

(Code 1973, 6-109)

It shall be unlawful for any person to make or sound or cause to be made or sounded or by any other means any false alarm of fire without reasonable cause. There shall be allowed to go unpenalized two false fire alarms per calendar year to the fire department. $50.00 will be fined for a third false fire alarm, and $75.00 will be fined for any subsequent false fire alarms in a calendar year.

(Code 1995)

No person shall use any fire apparatus or equipment for any private purpose, nor shall any person willfully and without proper authority remove, take away, keep or conceal any tool, appliance or other article used in any way by the fire department.

(Code 1973, 6-113)

The fire department is authorized to adopt its own by-laws.

(Code 1990)