Bellmawr Council Approves First Reading of an Ordinance to Restructure Fire Dept.

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At their August 22, 2019 meeting, Bellmawr Council approved on first reading an Ordinance that would repeal and replace the existing Chapter 36 of the Borough’s Code, which relates to the Fire Department.

Mayor and Council have determined that the need to amend Chapter 36 of the Borough Code to restructure the Fire Department is “in the best interest of the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the Borough of Bellmawr.”

Councilman Paul DeAngelis was absent from the meeting.

The Ordinance was published on September 8, 2019 and will now be considered for final passage after a public hearing at the next meeting of Mayor and Council on September 26, 2019.

Chapter 36 of the Borough Code was enacted to create the Bellmawr Fire Department, which consists of volunteer members of Bellmawr Fire & Rescue #1 (Lewis Avenue Station) and the Bellmawr Park Volunteer Fire Company (Essex Avenue Station), the Ordinance states.

“For several years the roles of active firefighting members from the Essex Ave. Station have fallen below what is required by the existing ordinance to be able to effectively sustain firefighting operations out of that station,” the Ordinance reads.

On or about February 28, 2019, Mayor and Council passed Resolution #02:80-19, that established Rules and Regulations for the Essex Avenue Fire Station, which “stipulated that the Essex Avenue Fire Station would be provided six (6) months to effective[ly] establish membership personnel to ten (10) or more active firefighting members who have attended the necessary training and attaining a firefighter certification as required by law…None of the conditions set forth in the aforesaid Resolution were satisfied and…there still exists an insufficient number of active firefighting members at the Essex Ave Fire Station.”

From the Ordinance:

§ 36-2. Composition; Fire Fighting Force.

Said Fire Department shall consist of all duly enrolled active certified firefighting members of the following volunteer fire companies, as shown on the enrollment books of the companies on the date of final passage of this chapter, and such other members as may be thereafter elected by said individual companies and duly approved and qualified under the provisions of this chapter:

Bellmawr Fire and Rescue Squad No. 1 [Lewis Ave Station]
Bellmawr Park Volunteer Fire Company [Essex Ave Station]

§ 36-3. Companies; active members.

No company/station shall have fewer than 10 active firefighting members to conduct firefighting operations for the Borough of Bellmawr Fire Department. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of each fire company to report in writing the exact membership, giving full names and residences of the members, to the Borough Clerk of the Borough of Bellmawr on the first day of February in each year. The membership roll shall be certified by the Chief of the department. The Borough Clerk shall keep an accurate master roll of all members of the Department.

§ 36-4. Certificate of membership.

The Borough Clerk shall keep an accurate master roll of the active members of the department.

SJO requested a copy of the Ordinance and it was provided. To read the Ordinance in its entirety, click the image below.

Post was updated on September 8, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.

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