Chapter III: Fire Department




SECTION 1. ORGANIZATION. The fire department shall consist of the Chief of the fire department and a sufficient number of firemen (voluntary, part or full-time) to maintain and operate the department. The Board of Commissioners shall appoint the chief and approve the appointment to the department of all members. The department may from time to time adopt its own rules and regulations governing the department subject to the approval of the Board of Commissioners. However, any such rules and regulations shall include provisions for at least one training period each month and that any member who is absent for two consecutive meetings without a bona fide reason be dropped from the department.

SECTION 2. DUTIES OF THE CHIEF. The duties of the Chief, subject to supervision by the Board of Commissioners shall be as follows:

     (a) General control of the department, the personnel, apparatus, and fire alarm systems.

     (b) To command the department and supervise the fire fighting and extinguishing of all fires and to have the authority to keep away from the vicinity of all fires, any and all idle, disorderly or suspicious person.

     (c) He shall inspect or cause to be inspected all trucks and other equipment of the fire department at regular intervals to ascertain that such equipment is being kept in proper condition. He shall report annually to the Board          of Commissioners the condition of all equipment. 

     (d) He shall inspect or cause to be inspected all fire hydrants and fire alarm systems at least once every three months and shall make a report of such inspection to the Board of Commissioners.

     (e) Fire Inspector

(1) The Chief is to assume the functions of Fire Inspector. As such, he (or his designated agent) shall have authority to enter any and all premises, at a reasonable time, for purposes of inspection.

(2) Routine Inspections. He shall make annual inspections of all structures located within the fire district.

(3) Inspection Upon Complaint. He shall, upon receipt of complaint, forthwith investigate.

(4) Investigate Fires, Keep Records. He shall investigate the causes of fires and keep records of his findings as to origin, location, owner, extent of damage, injury, and mount of insurance carried. The findings must be reported to the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner at regular intervals.

(5) Cause Removal of Fire Hazards. He shall cause the removal of fire hazards by serving proper order to owner or agent of premise in question, such order to state a reasonable time limit. Failure to comply with such order shall be considered a misdemeanor.


(a) The Officer in Command shall have authority to summon aid, and no citizen so summoned may refuse to help in extinguishing the fire or in protecting exposed property.

(b) Authority Mayor, Fire Chief to Summon Aid. During the continuance of a fire, the Fire Chief, his assistant, or the Mayor shall have authority to call upon any citizen to render assistance in pulling down or demolishing any building or in removing goods or furniture from a building on fire or in danger of fire, but not without the consent of the officer of the fire department or the police department who may be in charge.

(c) Unlawful to Congregate Near Fire. It shall be unlawful to congregate on the streets or alleys near a fire in a manner which would interfere with the activities of the fire department.

(d) Right-of-Way Fire Equipment. In the event of an alarm of fire, the apparatus of the fire department, responding to it, shall have the right-of-way in and upon all streets, lanes, alleys, and other public ways. 

(e) Drivers of Motor Vehicle Responsibility Upon Approach of Fire Apparatus. The drivers of vehicles, upon the approach of fire apparatus shall immediately bring their vehicle to a stop on the right hand side of the street in the direction in which they are facing and shall not move their vehicle until such apparatus has passed.

SECTION 4. FOLLOWING THE FIRE EQUIPMENT. It shall be unlawful to follow any fire apparatus which is responding to a call, by automobile or any other vehicle, unless such is used for transporting firemen to the scene of fire, at a distance closer than one city block, or to pass such apparatus or to park within the same block in which fire is in process.

SECTION 5. INTERFERING WITH FIREMEN OR FIRE APPARATUS. No person shall interfere with a fireman on the discharge of his duty, or hinder him in the performance of said duty; nor shall any person other than members of the fire department loiter about any fire station, or change, handle, or meddle in any manner with any fire engine or any other fire apparatus.

SECTION 6. ONLY FIREMEN AND POLICEMEN MAY RIDE ON TRUCKS WITHOUT PERMISSION. No person other than a bona fide member of the fire department shall mount any fire engine, wagon or apparatus before it leaves the station or while on its way to or from a fire, or at any other time, unless by permission of the driver or officer in command of such engine, wagon or other apparatus.

SECTION 7. INTERFERING WITH FIRE ALARM APPARATUS. No person shall interfere carelessly or willfully with the fire alarm system or injure the poles, wires, boxes, or other apparatus connected therewith.

SECTION 8. GIVING FALSE ALARM OF FIRE FORBIDDEN. No person shall give or cause to be given any false alarm of fire by means of the fire alarm system or otherwise.

SECTION 9. PROTECTION OF FIRE HOSE. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to drive over, or in any way damage or mutilate any fire hose while in the use at a fire or otherwise.

Denton Living