Skip to code content (skip section selection)
[Amended 12-3-1975 by Ord. No. 51-1975; 5-29-2001 by Ord. No. 14-2001]
A. The following rules and regulations shall cover the conduct of the Reading Department of Fire and Rescue Services:
(1) Rule 1. The Fire Chief shall have control over all fire apparatus and firemen at the time of fires, and shall have power to suspend any member or members of any company or companies for violating any of the City ordinances, or any of the rules and regulations of the Firemen's Union. All members so suspended shall stand suspended until final action. The Chief shall report his action in the matter to the Firemen's Union, who shall thereupon notify the company or companies whereof such parties are members, so that the proper action can be taken and penalty imposed. In the absence of the Fire Chief, the First Deputy Fire Chief of the District in which the fire occurs shall have charge of the Department. In case of the absence of the Fire Chief and the First Deputy Fire Chief of the District, the First Deputy Fire Chief at the fire shall have charge of the Department until the arrival of the Chief or First Deputy Fire Chief of the District. The foreman of the company arriving first at the fire shall assume charge of the Department, and have full control until charge is assumed by the Fire Chief or Deputy Fire Chiefs, respectively, as above stated.
(2) Rule 2. The Fire Chief, or other officer in charge, shall see that the premises where fires occur are left in such a condition that there will be no further danger from fire likely to cause damage to life or property. He shall also have the power to detail a sufficient number of firemen, with apparatus, to remain at the fire as long as he deems it necessary.
(3) Rule 3. The First Deputy Fire Chiefs and all companies shall promptly report their arrival at fires to the Fire Chief or other officer in charge.
(4) Rule 4. The Fire Chief, or Deputy Fire Chiefs, or other officer in charge at fires, shall see that no more water is used than is necessary, and when chemical engines are present, no water shall be used should the Chief or Deputy Chief, or other officer in charge, consider the chemical streams sufficient. In all cases only booster streams shall be used, unless the fire has gained too much headway. All chemical lines shall be followed up by the large water lines with a shutoff nozzle attached thereto, when same are attached to a fire hydrant.
(5) Rule 5. The Fire Chief or officer in charge shall cause companies not needed at fires to promptly return to quarters.
(6) Rule 6. The dangerous condition of any building, wall or other obstruction at any fire shall be promptly reported to the Fire Chief, or other officer in charge at such fire, and immediately after the fire such officer in charge shall report same to the Building Inspector of the City for proper action in regard thereto, unless it is deemed necessary for purposes of safety and subduing the fire, to cause its immediate removal by any means at hand.
(7) Rule 7. During the existence of fires requiring the presence of the Fire Chief, the Deputy Fire Chiefs, at the discretion of the Chief, shall respond to other alarms within their respective districts.
(8) Rule 8. The Fire Chief shall visit each company monthly, and thoroughly and carefully inspect all apparatus, and report the condition of the same to the Firemen's Union at the regular meeting succeeding such inspection.
(9) Rule 9. The Fire Chief or other officer in charge at a fire shall cause all firemen found to be under the influence of liquor to be removed beyond the fire lines, and shall report the facts of such removal, with the names of the guilty parties, to the Firemen's Union, who shall thereupon notify the company or companies whereof such parties are members, so that the proper action can be taken and penalty imposed.
(10) Rule 10. All engines shall carry a gate valve for use on two- or three-way fire hydrants, and immediately upon arriving at the fire ground shall attach same to the fire hydrant intended to be used by their respective companies, and shut off the same. Such company shall then attach its suction, or leading hose, to the other outlet, if a two-way fire hydrant, and if a three-way hydrant, attach its suction, or leading hose, to one of the other two outlets, so that a second company arriving at the same fire hydrant can attach its suction, or leading hose, to such gate valve attachment, at the two- or three-way fire hydrant, as it may be. All attachments of gate valves or hose, as aforesaid, shall be subject to change, at any fire, by order of the Fire Chief.
(11) Rule 11. Engine and chemical companies will, on arrival on fire ground, cause their respective apparatus to be stationed within such reasonable distance from building so as to allow an aerial truck to station themselves directly in front of building.
(12) Rule 12. Engine and hose companies shall be required to carry reducers and other connections necessary to attach hose to engines and fire hydrants, and for any other connections.
(13) Rule 13. Companies shall report to the Fire Chief all fire hydrants found to be obstructed, or in need of repairs, and he shall immediately notify the Department of Water thereof.
(14) Rule 14. All engines of the Fire Department of Fire and Rescue Services shall be tested at least once a month.
(15) Rule 15. All hose of the Fire Department of Fire and Rescue Services shall be tested semimonthly under the direction of the Fire Chief.
(16) Rule 16. When a still alarm is sent to a company house, the Fire Chief shall be immediately notified by telephone. The company shall respond promptly, first using the booster stream, and the water stream only as a last resort, as is specifically set out in Rule 4; the chemical line to be followed up by the large water line, with a shutoff nozzle attached thereto, and connected with the fire hydrant nearest the fire.
(17) Rule 17. Hoses shall be run in as close to a fire as is practicable, keeping on the side of the street the engine is located. Hose shall be kept off tracks wherever possible and not run over hose and couplings already laid. Engines and trucks shall also avoid running over hose and couplings laid in seeking positions for service at fires and in removing therefrom.
(18) Rule 18. Engine, hose and hook-and-ladder companies, immediately after the removal of their hose or ladders from their apparatus, shall remove apparatus to a reasonable distance from the immediate fire grounds.
(19) Rule 19. All proper dispatch consistent with safety shall be used in proceeding to a fire. Companies shall be held responsible for reckless driving.
(20) Rule 20. Companies shall keep their apparatus and tools in perfect order and carefully examine same after use for any defects therein.
(21) Rule 21. The number of persons who shall be permitted on the various size ladders at any one time shall not exceed, viz.: To each ten- or fifteen-foot ladder: one. To each twenty-foot, twenty-five-foot or thirty-foot ladder: two. To each ladder more than 30 feet: three.
(22) Rule 22. When a company or companies, in responding to fire alarms, with its, or their, apparatus, are driving to the fire ground on a street leading directly thereto, the right-of-way shall be given it, or them, by any other company, or companies driving with its, or their, apparatus to the same fire along a cross street, or arriving at the place of its intersection with such direct street. Such latter company, or companies, when about to turn with its, or their, apparatus from such cross street into such direct street and drive to the left thereon, shall take the right side of such street in making such turn, and when about to turn as aforesaid, from such cross street into such direct street and drive to the right thereon, shall take the left side of such cross street in making such turn.
(23) Rule 23. When two or more companies, with their apparatus, are driving to a fire along the same street, side by side, or within a short distance from one another, neither company shall hinder or delay the other by driving from side to side of the street, or in any manner. The penalties imposed by law in such cases will be strictly enforced against guilty parties.
(24) Rule 24. No company, or companies, nor any of its, or their, members, when responding to an alarm of fire, or while engaged in the line of duty at any fire, or in returning from a fire alarm or fire, shall become involved in any altercation, dispute, disturbance or breach of the peace, or violate any City ordinance or state law. If any dispute or misunderstanding arises between any companies or the members thereof at or during the above stated times or places, the Fire Chief or Deputy Fire Chiefs, or other officer in charge of the Department at the time, shall forthwith be called upon, and his decision shall be final settlement of the same, and his orders in the premises shall be peaceably and implicitly obeyed by the parties concerned.
(25) Rule 25. The Fire Chief shall prepare a fire alarm chart showing the number and location of each fire alarm box, the number of boxes to which each company shall respond on first and second alarms, and whether all apparatus or only one is to be used, and each company shall respond in accordance therewith.
(26) Rule 26. Companies responding to first alarms shall remain until dismissed by the Fire Chief. Companies assigned to second alarms shall respond to all subsequent alarms.
(27) Rule 27. When two ladder companies respond to an alarm, and another alarm comes in for the same district, the ladder company in reserve shall respond. When ladder companies respond to general alarm boxes only, ladders shall respond and the engines stand in reserve.
(28) Rule 28. When an alarm is sounded within the district south of Buttonwood Street, north of Penn Street and east of Seventh Street, and an additional alarm is sounded covering the district north of Buttonwood Street and east of Seventh Street, one piece from Neversink Fire Company and one piece from Schuylkill Fire Company shall respond.
(29) Rule 29. No apparatus shall leave the station on a box alarm until one round has been registered on the indicator.
(30) Rule 30. In the event of the indicator or gong not working properly, the alarm room shall be called for the location of alarm.
(31) Rule 31. Friendship Fire Company shall be a reserve company with one piece of apparatus for all stations north of Green Street and west of Seventh Street; Marion Fire Company shall be a reserve company for all stations south of Penn Street, except Stations 4, 41, 253 and 254; Riverside Fire Company shall be a reserve company for all stations south of Penn Street, except Stations 31, 37 and 132; Union Fire Company shall be a reserve company for all stations north of Penn Street, including Stations 31, 37 and 132; Oakbrook Fire Company shall be a reserve company for all stations north of Penn Street, including Stations 4, 41, 253 and 254. The reserve companies will respond to all alarms except the one in which the Department of Fire and Rescue Services is working by a previous alarm.
(32) Rule 32. After a first alarm has been sounded, should the Fire Chief require the assistance of companies assigned to the boxes on second alarms, he shall give two taps and, after a brief interval, strike the box number in the usual manner. A second alarm shall, in all cases, be designated by two taps followed by the box number from which the first alarm was sounded, the box number being repeated four times.
(33) Rule 33. The signal 3-3-3 will be used exclusively for general alarms, to which the entire Department shall respond, with the exception of the reserve companies, who shall remain at their respective stations and respond to all subsequent alarms.
(34) Rule 34. Companies not responding to first alarms assigned to second alarms shall stand on the alert. Should no additional company be required, a signal of one tap shall be given by the Fire Chief indicating that the fire is under control and that the companies have left the place of alarm. Upon the return of the companies to their stations following an alarm, they will report to the alarm room when in service again.
(35) Rule 35. Companies not assigned to first or second alarms become first alarm companies, and shall respond to all subsequent alarms.
(36) Rule 36. The rules and regulations of the Water Authority, with regard to the opening and closing of, and making connections to, fire plugs, shall be strictly observed.
(37) Rule 37. The foregoing rules and regulations shall be strictly enforced, and any act of insubordination, or disobedience of these rules and regulations, or of any order of the Fire Chief or other officer in charge at any fire, by any company or companies of the Fire Department of Fire and Rescue Services, or any respective members thereof, shall be promptly reported to the Firemen's Union by the Fire Chief or such officer in charge for immediate action at its next meeting.