Organization-The Town of North Haven shall maintain a fire department for the purposes of providing fire protection and other life safety considerations to the citizens and visitors to the Town of North Haven, Connecticut. These services shall include, but not be limited to: fire suppression; fire prevention; inspection, and investigation; emergency medical services; rescue operations and hazardous materials response.
Organizational Structure-The Fire Department of the Town of North Haven shall consist of career and volunteer personnel which shall be responsible for the protection of life and property from fire and for the enforcement of all laws, ordinances and regulations relating to fire safety. Such Fire Department shall operate under the Rules and Regulations as set forth under the authority vested in the Board of Fire Commissioners by (Special Act #112 of the 1945 session of the Connecticut Legislature.)
Board of Fire Commissioners-The Board of Fire commissioners is an elected board of (5) five members, each with a four year term. It has general management and supervision of the Fire Department.
Fire Chief-Shall be appointed by the Board of Fire Commissioners.
The Chief shall have sole and absolute command over all paid personnel, volunteers, and all apparatus and appurtenances pertaining to the Fire Department, and shall direct all measures he may deem proper for the extinguishment of fires. He shall exercise all the duties, powers and functions of a Fire Marshal provided that he may delegate such duties to another member of said department.
His duty as Fire Marshal shall be designated in the General Statutes of the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Fire Safety Code, and the Charter and Ordinances of the Town of North Haven. In areas not specified in the state and local codes, he shall be guided by the provisions of the National Fire Protection Association in his fire prevention activities.
Deputy Chief of Administration-The Deputy Fire Chief of Administration is responsible for the overall administrative support to the Fire Chief/ Fire Marshal in directing the administrative functions of the Fire Department including, but not limited to, Emergency Management (EMD), community risk reduction and fire inspection/prevention code enforcement. The Deputy Chief of Administration is required to perform all similar or related duties described in the job description.
Deputy Chief of Operations-The Deputy Fire Chief of Operations is responsible for the overall operational support to the Fire Chief/Fire Marshal in directing the operational functions of the Fire Department including, Emergency Management (EMD), emergency medical services, as well as fire inspection/prevention code enforcement as necessary. The Deputy Fire Chief of Operations is required to perform all similar or related duties described in the job description.
Officers-Officers of all companies shall meet the qualifications as described in Department Policy, Rules or Regulations or, committed by contract.
The supervision of the fire suppression force is maintained via the Department’s command structure. (4) Four Career Shift Commanders (3) three Volunteer Captains, along with (12) twelve volunteer Lieutenants. Headquarters is staffed with a total of 32 firefighters. Each volunteer company is composed of volunteer firefighters with training to the FF I level or higher. Membership to each fire company is achieved through an application and voting process and is limited by the Department’s Rules and Regulations to (35) thirty five per company.
- Headquarters Company 1
- Engine 1
- Tower 1
- Rescue 1
- Rescue 2
- Rescue Boat with trailer
- E3 Backup
- Montowese Company 2
- Engine 2
- Engine 8
- West Ridge Company 3
- Engine 4
- Engine 6
- North East Company
- Truck 2
- Engine 7
- Fire Police Unit
- 12 Fire Police Officers
The North Haven Fire Department will provide the following services in keeping with the Departments current Mission Statement.
The Department’s priorities for providing fire suppression include: life safety, limiting the propagation and spread of fire, extinguishment, incident stabilization and property conservation. Members of the Department are trained and equipped to perform aggressive interior and exterior fire attack; operating in the investigatory, fast attack and command modes. Fire suppression operations are delivered using personnel and apparatus that are strategically located throughout the community. When required or conditions exist that dictate the need for additional resources, automatic or mutual aid is supplied by neighboring communities. Written mutual aid compacts have been established with these agencies. Furthermore, the State of Connecticut Fire Rescue Response Plan may be implemented during large or extraordinary incidents.
Based upon community risk assessment and preplanning, the types of fires that the Department may be called to extinguish involve but are not limited to: brush, structural (residential and commercial occupancies), combustible and flammable liquids, electrical, vehicle and other forms of transportation. Since the town contains major state roads (Routes 5, 15, 17, 22, and 103), and Interstate (I-91), a variety of vehicles transverse the community. Hence, the Department must be capable of supporting emergency service delivery for all hazard response.
Fire suppression is administered through the joint services provided by Headquarters Company 1, along with Volunteer Company 2 (Montowese), Company 3 (West Ridge), and Company 4 (North East). Each company operates their station and is equipped with a wide cadre of fire apparatus. The inventory of apparatus is as follows:
Members of the Department of Fire Service are expected to perform duties that include but are not limited to: operation, inspection and minor maintenance of fire apparatus and equipment, fire suppression activities such as search and rescue, ventilation, overhaul and salvage, directing hose streams, working from ladders, applying foam, administering pre-hospital emergency medical care, performing various rescue services, mitigating hazardous materials releases, using power tools and equipment, cleaning and light maintenance of stations and motor apparatus.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES
The Department of Fire Service is certified by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health – Office of Emergency Medical Services (CT-OEMS) to provide basic and advanced life support to EMS incidents. This service is administered through the use of a first response Fire Rescue Paramedic Unit, a BLS Engine Company, and a BLS Truck Company operating at the EMT level.
In accordance with State Health Department Regulations, personnel are certified to the levels of Paramedic or Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT-B). The re-certification of the membership is administered pursuant to OEMS Regulations.
Each vehicle utilized as a first response unit is equipped with the minimum level of supplies as required by CT-OEMS license requirements. All first response units are equipped with automatic external cardiac defibrillators.
Requests for emergency medical assistance are channeled through the Town’s Dispatch Center that is operated by certified tele-communicators within Police Headquarters; daily supervision of the center is through the command staff of the Police Department. Following standardized “Emergency Medical Dispatch” protocols, first responder and or paramedic units are dispatched to EMS incidents. Fire and EMS personnel are authorized and guided by medical direction under procedures and protocols from the New Haven Sponsor Hospital Program.
Multi-discipline rescue services are provided to cover a number of technical situations that include but are not limited to: vehicle and machinery extrication, cold water rescue, high and rope rescue. When situations exist beyond the capabilities and resources of the Department, mutual aid as well as state and federal resources may be requested.
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS RESPONSE
Members of the Department of Fire Service have been trained to function to the “Operational” level of hazardous materials response (29 CFR 1919.120). In accordance with guidelines set forth by the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT-DEEP) and CONN-OSHA, personnel operate in a defensive fashion but can mitigate a limited number of minor spills/leaks in an offensive mode. The response to hazardous materials incidents involves steps that include: site management, product identification, risk assessment, personal protective equipment, information/resource coordination, product control, decontamination and termination. The prevention of hazardous material incidents is achieved through aggressive code enforcement and the application and adoption of recognized safety standards. The North Haven Fire Department is a member of the New Haven Area Special Hazards Team supporting the South Division with apparatus, personnel and equipment.
FIRE PREVENTION, INSPECTION AND INVESTIGATION
Fire prevention activities that are provided by the Department are part of a comprehensive plan to protect life and property from fire and other hazards. Code enforcement, pre-construction plan review, public fire education and the investigation of fires are all components of the prevention plan. The Office of the Fire Marshal is responsible for implementing and managing activities in this section and is composed of a Fire Marshal, Deputy Fire Marshal and Fire Inspector; the Connecticut Department of Public Safety – Office of State Fire Marshal, certifies staff serving in these positions. The authority and duties of the Fire Marshal can be found in Chapter 541 of the Connecticut General Statutes – Connecticut Fire Code.
Inspections of commercial occupancies are conducted to monitor and rectify conditions that may cause fire situations or the spread of fire. The primary objective of these inspections is to ensure the safe egress of occupants who may be endangered by fire or its byproducts. Personnel from the Fire Marshal’s office work in cooperation with building, planning and zoning and, potential commercial and residential property owners in order to facilitate proper certifications for occupancy. The Fire Marshal is also designated as the local open burning official responsible for authorizing permits for “open burning.” It is also the responsibility of the Fire Marshal to enforce all aspects of local, state and federal regulations/codes pertaining to fire and life safety compliance.
The investigations of all fires are conducted to determine cause and origin of ignition. This information is required in order to prevent the occurrence of future fires or at the least, reduce the severity of such incidents. If a fire is determined to be incendiary, a thorough investigation is intended to prosecute the guilty party. In this case, the investigation becomes a deterrent to the crime of arson. When necessary, the Fire Marshal may utilize the expertise of mutual aid fire investigators, members of the Connecticut State Fire Marshal’s Office or agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms or Federal Bureau of Investigation.
PUBLIC FIRE EDUCATION
Fire safety awareness programs are conducted annually by members of the suppression force in cooperation with the Fire Marshal’s office. The primary focus is on early childhood education and self-preservation training methods. This entails the delivery of programs to pre-K and grade school students located within the four fire districts. Age appropriate programs are provided to middle and high school classes as well as senior citizens on an on-going basis.
Each member of the Department is provided with initial and refresher training that is administered through: a Company Officer, Deputy Chief of Operations/Training Officer; Connecticut Fire Academy, Regional Fire School or other professional training entity. As practical as possible, members are afforded the ability to attain certification as Firefighter, Fire Officer, Instructor as well as higher levels of professional development. Moreover, opportunities are available for personnel to attend courses offered by the Connecticut Commission on Fire Prevention and Control, Connecticut Fire Academy; National Fire Academy and the Emergency Management Institute.
Each station is provided with a series of lesson plans that are based upon a standardized curriculum that permits ongoing training for company members that meets and/or exceeds OSHA and NFPA requirements. Records of all training are maintained by the Deputy Chief of Operations on a computerized data base program. Specialized training is administered to personnel based upon assignment or equipment carried on apparatus. In order to comply with OSHA training standards, the Deputy Chief of Operations/Training Officer administers annual competency evaluations.
Each company holds weekly drills for its membership during which an allotted time period is utilized for training. At a minimum, twenty-four in-service training sessions are held annually. Furthermore, in order to comply with OSHA mandates, annual live fire training is conducted using acquired structures or regional training facilities for all personnel. These sessions adhere to NFPA 1403.
STANDARD OPERATING GUIDELINES
The Department of Fire Service provides its membership with a composition of “Standard Operating Guidelines” (SOG’s) that serve as the basis for incident operations. This includes dispatch protocols, response procedures as well as fire suppression, rescue and EMS guidance documents. Additionally, the Fire Chief provides direction through the publication of Direct Notices (DN’s), Daily Memo’s and Special Bulletins. All directives are based upon firefighter safety and follow recommendations set forth by administrative agencies such as the National Fire Protection Association, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and National Fire Protection Association. These documents are issued and posted in each station and become part of the Department Operations Manual.
INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM
The North Haven Fire Department utilizes a formal incident command system (ICS) for the management of each fire and EMS response and adheres to NFPA/OSHA recommendations. In accordance with Connecticut General Statutes Section 7-313(e), the Fire Chief or senior fire officer will be designated as the “Officer in Charge” and in command of the incident. When situations involve multi-jurisdictions and multiple agencies, a unified command structure will be implemented; CGS 7-313(e) will be invoked. Furthermore, all Department personnel have been trained in the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Finally, following the recommendations established by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, the standard for communicating during emergency incident operations is through the use of plain-language – radio codes will not be used.
ANNUAL OSHA COMPLIANCE
This document allows the Department to comply with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.156(b)(1) and NFPA 1500 Chapter 4. This statement will be issued to all Department personnel, posted in each station and reviewed annually for applicability and need for revision.