PHILADELPHIA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Article 1: Name, Motto and Territory
Article 2: Departments
Article 3: Meetings
Article 4: Requirements for Officers
Article 5: Nominations and Elections
Article 6: Officers
Article 7: Duties of the President
Article 8: Duties of the Vice-President
Article 9: Duties of the Chief
Article 10: Duties of the Assistant Chiefs
Article 11: Duties of the Firefighters
Article 12: Duties of the Secretary
Article 13: Duties of the Treasurer
Article 14: Duties of the Fire Police
Article 15: Organization & Order or Business of the Fire Council
Article 16: Duties of the Fire Council
Article 17: Impeachment of Officers
Article 18: Election of Members
Article 19: Duties of Members
Article 20: Delegates and Expenses for Conventions
Article 21: Duties of the House Committee
Article 22: Duties of the Chaplain
Article 23: Bylaws
PHILADELPHIA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
Name, Motto and Territory
Section 1: The name of this organization shall be the Philadelphia Volunteer Fire Department Inc.
Section 2: The objects of this organization shall be “The protection of life and property from fire and the promotion of social intercourse among its members.”
Section 3: The Motto of this organization shall be “Protection and Service."
Section 4: The territory in which the operations of this organization shall be principally conducted is as follows; All the portion of land located within the boundaries of the Town of Philadelphia, County of Jefferson, and the State of New York, including the cities, villages and hamlets within.
Section 1: The general component of the department shall not exceed sixty(60) members.
Section 1: Regular meetings shall be held on the 1st Monday of each month, except when Monday is a national holiday, the meeting will be held the following Wednesday night.
Section 2: To make a quorum at the regular meeting, there must be fifteen(15) members present.
Section 3: Special meetings must be called by the President, or Vice-President or upon written request of five(5) members, such request stating the object of the meeting. Fifteen(15) members must be present to make a quorum.
Requirements of Officers
Section 1: Each candidate for Chief shall have four(4) years of continuous service in the Philadelphia Fire Department. Each candidate for 1st Assistant Chief (Fire) shall have three(3) years of continuos service in the Philadelphia Fire Department. Each candidate for 2nd Assistant Chief (Fire) shall have three(3) years of continuous service in the Philadelphia Fire Department. Each Candidate for 1st Assistant Chief Emergency Medical Services shall have at least 1 year continuous service in the Philadelphia Fire Department. Each candidate for President and Vice-President shall have at least four(4) years of continuous service in the Philadelphia Fire Department.
Section 2: Each candidate for council member shall have attended a minimum of eight(8) regular meetings the previous year to be nominated.
Nominations and Elections
Section 1: The nomination committee (consisting of three(3) members appointed by the chair) shall present a slate of candidates for office for the coming year on the first Monday of March, and not to exceed three(3) candidates to and office. The Election shall be the first Monday in April.
Section 2: Each candidate shall inform the chair if they chose to except or decline the nomination.
Section 3: Any member shall have at least one(1) full year of service in the Philadelphia Fire Department to have the privilege of nominating the officers listed in Article 6 Section 1.
Section 1: The elected officers of the organization shall be President, Vice-President, Chief, 1st Assistant Chief(Fire), 2nd Assistant Chief(Fire), 1st Assistant Chief(Emergency Medical Service), Secretary, Treasurer, Chaplain. [The Chief will appoint Captains and Lieutenants.]
Section 2: The officers with the exception of the Captains, Lieutenants, and Foreman, who will be appointed by the Chiefs, shall be elected by ballot at the regular annual meeting. A majority of all votes shall elect. All officer's terms will be from election to election. The Chiefs term of Office shall run no more than Five(5) consecutive years.
Duties of the President
Section 1: It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all Department and Fire Council meetings. In accordance with recognized parliamentary procedure, to call special meetings when he/she judges it to be necessary or upon written request of five(5) members, and to appoint all committees, to enforce the observance of the by-laws, and to sign all orders with the treasurer.
Section 2: Be responsible for all business matters concerning the department.
Section 3: The President shall fill all vacancies in the administrative system.
Section 4: The President shall be a member of the Building Board of Directors.
Duties of the Vice-President
Section 1: The Vice-President shall assist the President in the discharge of his/her duties and in the case of the Presidents absence. Should the office of the President become vacant, he shall assume the duties of the President.
Duties of the Chief
Section 1: It shall be the duty of the Chief to enforce the observance of the by-laws.
Section 2: It shall be the duty of the Chief to be present at all incidents if possible, to plan the attack and to direct the action of the department upon arrival.
Section 3: It shall be the duty of the Chief to see that each subordinate does his/her duty.
Section 4: It shall be the duty of the Chief to make a report at the next regular meeting of all calls and give as nearly as possible the following facts;
Locality of call
Cause of delay (if any)
Section 5: It shall be the duty of the Chief to be responsible for all fire fighting equipment.
Duties of Assistant Chiefs
Section 1: It shall be the duty of the 1st Assistant Chief(Fire) to perform the duties of the Chief in case of his/her absence and to assist the Chief in his/her duties.
Section 2: It shall be the duty of the 2nd Assistant Chief(Fire) to perform the duties of the Chief in the absence of the Chief and the 1st Assistant Chief(Fire) and to assist both in their duties.
Section 3: It shall be the duty of the 1st Assistant Chief (E.M.S.) to be present at all E.M.S. incidents if possible, to plan the treatment, and to direct rescue personnel actions upon arrival.
Duties of the Firefighters
Section 1: The Firefighters of all companies will obey all orders from the Chief or his/her designees and assign from members of his/her company the drivers/operators for the hose test and for all times outside of fires.
Section 2: It shall be the duty of the fire fighters of all companies to have control thereof while on duty, all orders given him/her on these occasions shall be explicitly obeyed.
Section 3: It shall be the duty the foreman of all companies to take a company inventory of his/her equipment monthly and submit complete report to the Chief at the next regular meeting. The Foreman shall be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of assigned equipment. It shall be the duty of the foreman to oversee the weekly vehicle inspections of their vehicle.
Duties of the Secretary
Section 1: It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep a record of all proceedings of the department, to call roll, to maintain and preserve records of the department. He/she shall give each member at least one(1) day notice of any special meeting. He/she shall furnish a copy of the current bylaws to all newly elected members to this department.
Section 2: It shall be the duty of the Secretary to notify at least one(1) week in advance with a registered letter, anyone that is to appear before the Fire council for an infraction of bylaws.
Duties of the Treasurer
Section 1: It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive all money collected by the members, and to issue a receipt, to keep a regular account of all money received and make payment on the order of the department when such orders are properly signed by the President and cosigned by the Treasurer. To give monthly report of the sums received and from what source, and give a report of sums paid out of the balance on hand. He/she shall submit the books and official documents to the examination of the auditing committee to enable them to make proper report at the May meeting. All Treasurers shall be bonded.
Duties of the Fire Police
Section 1: To be properly sworn in with the Village Clerk.
Section 2: To familiarize themselves with New York State Motor Vehicle Laws pertaining to any and all Emergency Vehicles and Volunteer Firefighters.
Section 3: To secure proper identification and equipment to maintain traffic control for fires and other emergencies.
Section 4: To maintain proper supervision of traffic and bystanders at the emergency so that firefighters and equipment have free and clear passage.
Section 5: To maintain a security watch over real and personal property until relieved by the incident commander.
Organization and order of business of the Fire Council
Section 1: The Fire Council shall consist of the President, Vice-President, the four(4) Chiefs and four(4) elected members.
Section 2: The Secretary and the Treasurer shall be admitted to council meeting as non-voting members if their presence is requested by the President. No other member shall be present unless called before the council by the President or the Chair.
Section 3: Only Council members shall vote, the President shall vote only to break a tie.
Section 4: The council does not have the power to spend any money outside of which was read for expenses at the meeting.
Section 5: There shall be six(6) Council members present to hold a Fire council meeting.
Section 6: The order of business shall be as follows;
1. Roll Call
2. Reading of minutes of previous meeting.
3. Action on bills for clarification
4. Action on new members
5. Action and disposition of violations and penalties, [Action to be
derived from closed ballot] A notice of such violation and decision
shall be mailed by the secretary to such member by registered mail.
Any member so expelled or suspended may at the next regular meeting
have the privilege of making an appeal on their behalf, such appeal shall
be voted on and carried by 2/3 of the body present for acceptance or
6. Failure to appear or be excused from the next regular meeting shall
signify acceptance of the decision of the Fire Council.
Duties of the Fire Council
Section 1: It shall be the duty of the Fire Council to supervise the handling of the equipment of the department.
Section 2: The application of any person wishing to become a member of the Philadelphia Fire Department shall be referred to the Fire Council who will obtain such information as may be necessary to determine if the candidate will make a proper member to the department at the next regular meeting.
Section 3: It shall be the duty of the Fire Council to examine all accounts that may be referred to it by the organization and report on the next regular meeting.
Section 4: It shall be the duty of the Fire Council examine such complaints and petitions as may be referred by the organization and report on them at the next regular meeting.
Section 5: It shall be the duty of the Fire Council to expel or suspend any member found guilty of disobedience, improper conduct, or infraction of these bylaws.
Section 6: It shall be the duty of the Fire Council to appoint five(5) Fire Police persons, which shall consist of a Captain and the balance as regular Fire Police.
Impeachment of Officers
Section 1: Any officer of this organization, for the abuse of his/her authority or misconduct in office may be impeached and removed from his/her office by a vote of 2/3 members present. The charges against him/her shall be made in writing and filed with the secretary at least five(5) working days before any action shall be taken, and a copy of said charge be mailed to him/her by registered mail at least two(2) weeks before such vote be taken. Upon receipt of notification of said charge, such officer may be temporarily relieved of duty at the discretion of the Fire Council until disposition of charge(s).
Election of New Members
Section 1: Any person of good character and standing shall be eligible for membership in this organization. This person must have their residence within the Town of Philadelphia, County of Jefferson, and State of New York for at least the last thirty(30) days and be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
Section 2: Any person of good character and standing shall be eligible for membership in this organization for the purpose of manning the ambulance in response to all siren and ambulance calls. This person must have their residence within the Town of Philadelphia, County of Jefferson, and State of New York for at least the last thirty(30) days and be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
Section 3: Any member with at least one (1) full year of service shall have the privilege of presenting the name of the person wishing to become a member of the Philadelphia Fire Department. [If the report of the Fire Council is favorable, he/she shall be voted on by closed ballot and if he/she does not receive the majority vote of ballots cast, he/she shall be rejected.]
Section 4: All new applicants will be on a one(1) year after they are voted into the department. After one (1) year there will a review of their performance by the Fire Council to decide if they will become permanent members or dropped from the rolls.
Section 5: If the application is rejected, this person can not be presented again until one(1) complete year after rejection vote.
Duties of Members
Section 1: It shall be the duty of all members of the Philadelphia Fire Department to obey all commands of their officers while on duty and attending functions, parades and meetings.
Section 2: No member shall appear at any meeting, parade or function or to be on duty in the state of intoxication, or be guilty of conduct unbecoming a gentle person or other wise being a disgrace upon this organization, or face expulsion from the department at the option of the Fire Council.
Section 3: It shall be the duty of all members of this organization with uniforms to wear the proper uniform at all parades and other functions where the uniform is to be worn.
Section 4: In the event a member in the possession of any department equipment leaves this department or is expelled, he/she shall return any and all equipment to the equipment officer within a period of twenty(20) days pending reconditioning charges due to negligence of said equipment.
Section 5: Any member shall abide by the State laws at all times plus Village laws concerning village equipment and departmental policies. Emergency lights and sirens are not to be used at any time returning from a call.
Section 6: A member may be excused and receive credit for siren calls for the twelve(12) regular meetings and all special meetings if he/she reports the reason to the President, Vice-President, Chiefs or Secretary prior to the meeting. A member is eligible to receive credit for siren calls other than meetings as follows: All members in attendance at siren calls shall personally sign the roster sheet at the fire hall.
Section 7: Any member having missed two(2) consecutive regular meetings without being excused will receive a written notice from the Secretary by registered mail and must be present at the next regular meeting. If said member is not present at the next regular meeting he/she will reviewed by the Fire Council for suspension or expulsion.
Section 8: Blue lights shall not be used by any member on motor vehicles unless he/she has in his/her possession a card permitting him/her to use the same signed by the Chief.
Section 9: All members shall assemble to go to a wake as a group. Time and date will be given to all members. All members with uniforms shall wear them.
Section 10: Attendance for wakes will be for members and past members in good standing.
Section 11: Upon being certified as an active member of the department, new members will have one (1) year to complete a department recognized or sponsored training course on our department fire fighting equipment. In the event this training requirement is not fulfilled to the satisfaction of the Fire Council, any new member will be expelled from the department. This allows one (1) year to familiarize and train new members in fire department activities. One year allows for adequate training in all areas.
Section 12: Upon being certified as an active member of the department for the purpose of manning the ambulance at all calls and the rescue service, any new member will have one(1) year to complete a department recognized or sponsored training course on Emergency Medical Services and departmental equipment. In the event this requirement is not fulfilled to the satisfaction of the Fire Council, any new member will be expelled from the department. This allows one (1) year to familiarize and train new members in rescue squad procedures and equipment. [The above amendments are not suggested to be retroactive, thus they do not pertain to present members of the department. These amendments are in no way intended to maintain the high level of efficiency the department now enjoys by insuring an active and proficient training program for all future members.]
A member legal residence except for military personal, must be within the Town of Philadelphia, County of Jefferson, State of New York to maintain membership in the Philadelphia Fire Department. (Military members must reside in the Town of Philadelphia.)
Delegates and expenses for Conventions
Section 1: The delegates shall be: The President, The Chief, and one(1) elected delegate. The alternate delegates shall be the Vice President, Assistant Chiefs, and one(1) elected alternate delegate.
Section 2: For the Jefferson County Convention and the Northern New York Convention, all delegates will be paid an amount deemed by the fire department by vote before each convention.
Section 3: One(1) delegate and one(1) alternate delegate will be voted on at the April meeting. The President and the Chief will be automatic delegates.
Section 4: All delegates shall attend all pre-convention meetings.
Duties of the House Committee
Section 1: The House Committee shall consist of four(4) members taken in sequence from the roster.
Section 2: The House Committee set up the Fire Hall for regular meetings. The House Committee will procure and serve snacks, and will be responsible for clean-up after the regular meeting.
Duties of the Chaplain
Section 1: It shall be the duty of the Chaplain to preside at all meetings in leading the Lords Prayer at the beginning of said meeting. He/she shall also inform the President and Secretary of any ill or deceased, past or present member. He/she will work with the President and Secretary notifying the entire membership of said situation in conjunction with Article 19, Section 9 and 10 of the bylaws. At the same time he/she will work with the President of the Benevolent Association of the Department to assure a spray of follows has been ordered and sent to the wake.
Section 2: In the absence of the Chaplain it is up to the President to assign an officer or member to assume said duties.
Section 3: It shall be the duty of the Chaplain to send cards and call on ill members, be it hospital or home, were practical. The Chaplain may also present a list of members who are medically ill to the President before all regular meetings at which time the President shall excuse them from said meeting.
Section 1: These bylaws have been given considerable thought by the membership of the Philadelphia Fire Department and shall become the primary governing instrument of the Philadelphia Fire Department.
Section 2: Each person approved for membership in this organization shall receive and sign for correct copy of the current bylaws.
Section 3: Any proposed changes to these bylaws, e.g., additions, deletions, or subsequent changes, shall be brought to the Fire Council for review before being brought back to the regular meeting. The proposed amendment shall be presented, in writing, before being entered into the Fire Department permanent record. Proposed amendments shall be read at three(3) consecutive meetings. At the third and finial reading, the membership shall vote on the proposed changes. At 2/3 favorable vote will be needed to make proposed changes an amendment to existing bylaws.