This is an official version.
Copyright © 2000: Queens Printer,
Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990
AN ACT RESPECTING THE ST. JOHN'S FIRE DEPARTMENT
1. This Act may be cited as the St. John's Fire Department Act.
1972 No12 s1Back to Top
2. In this Act
(a) "association" means
(i) the International Association of Firefighters or a local or provincial branch of that association,
(ii) an association limited to the department and having among its objects the improvement of conditions of service or remuneration of the members, or
(iii) an association which, by order of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, is designated as an association for the purposes of this Act;
(b) "city" means the City of St. John's referred to in the City of St. John's Act;
(c) "department" means the St. John's Fire Department;
(d) "firefighter" means a member of the department other than a commissioned officer;
(e) "member" means a member of the department and includes the fire chief and other commissioned or non-commissioned officers and persons of the department;
(f) "minister" means the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs or other minister of the Crown who may be designated by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to administer this Act;
(g) "officer" means a commissioned officer of the department; and
(h) "strike" means a strike within the meaning of the Labour Relations Act.
1972 No12 s2; 1972 No11 s2; 1988 c39 s14;
3. The St. John's Fire Department is continued as a firefighting force.
1972 No12 s4; 1972 No11 s2Back to Top
Appointment of fire chief and other officers
4. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint a commanding officer of the department, to be known as the fire chief, and those other officers that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council considers appropriate and may prescribe their titles and duties.
(2) The fire chief and other officers shall hold office during pleasure.
1972 No12 s7Back to Top
Control of department
5. The fire chief has, under the direction of the minister, the control and management of the department and of all matters connected with the department.
1972 No12 s8Back to Top
Duties of fire chief
6. The fire chief shall perform the duties assigned to him or her by, and is at all times subject to the control, orders and authority of, the minister.
1972 No12 s9Back to Top
Absence of fire chief
7. Where there is no fire chief, or the fire chief is absent from the headquarters of the department, the senior commissioned officer at the headquarters has, unless otherwise provided by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the powers and shall perform the duties of the fire chief.
1972 No12 s10Back to Top
8. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may authorize the fire chief to appoint, by warrant signed by the fire chief,
(a) the number of firefighters, and from among the firefighters in the department the number and grade of non-commissioned officers that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council prescribes; and
(b) temporary supernumerary firefighters at the rates of pay that are authorized by the minister.
1972 No12 s11; 1988 c39 s14Back to Top
Oaths or affirmations
9. (1) Before entering upon the duties of his or her office a member shall take and sign the Oath of Allegiance and an oath or affirmation of office in the following form:
"I, A.B., solemnly swear (or solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm) that I will faithfully, diligently and impartially execute and perform the duties required of me as a member of the St. John's Fire Department, and will obey and perform lawful orders and instructions that I receive without fear, favour or affection of or towards a person." (Where an oath is taken, add "So help me God".).
(2) The oaths or affirmations prescribed in subsection (1) may be taken and signed by the fire chief before a judge of the Supreme Court or a Provincial Court judge, and may be taken and signed by another member of the department before the fire chief or a person before whom the fire chief may take and sign the oaths or affirmations.
(3) The oaths or affirmations signed under subsection (1) shall be retained by the fire chief as part of the records of his or her office.
1972 No12 s12; 1986 c42 Sch BBack to Top
Duties of department
10. It is the duty of members of the department, subject to the orders of the fire chief, to
(a) perform, within the city and at those other places in the province that may be directed by the minister, the firefighting duties that may be assigned to the department by the minister; and
(b) perform those other duties and functions that are prescribed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council or the minister.
1972 No12 s13Back to Top
Evidence of appointment
11. A certificate purporting to be issued by the authority of the fire chief and stating that the person to whom it is issued is a member of the department is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence in a court in the province and in proceedings in a court of the fact of that statement.
1972 No12 s14Back to Top
Penalty re: delivery of property of Crown
12. (1) A member who, upon being discharged or dismissed, refuses or neglects to immediately deliver to the fire chief or to a commissioned officer, or to a member authorized to receive them, his or her clothing, accoutrements and all property of the Crown in his or her possession as a member of the department is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a penalty of $50.
(2) In addition to a penalty referred to in subsection (1), a member shall pay the value of the articles not delivered up, and, in default of payment of that penalty or value, is liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 months.
1972 No12 s15Back to Top
Unlawful use of uniforms, etc.
13. A person who unlawfully puts on or assumes the dress, name, designation or description of a member, or who gives or offers or promises to give to a member a bribe, monetary or otherwise, or who makes an agreement with a member to induce him or her to forego his or her duty, or who concerts or connives at an act by which the regulations may be evaded, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction, on the complaint of a member of the department, to a fine not exceeding $100, or in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months, or to both a fine and imprisonment.
1972 No12 s16Back to Top
Unlawful disposal of equipment, etc.
14. A person who unlawfully disposes of, receives, buys or sells, or has in his or her possession without lawful cause, or refuses to deliver up when lawfully required, a vehicle, accoutrements, clothing or other thing used for purposes of the department, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a penalty of double the value of it, and to a further penalty not exceeding $50, and, in default of payment of that penalty, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 months.
1972 No12 s17Back to Top
15. A person who, by concealing the fact of his or her having been dismissed from the department or by false or forged certificates or false representations, obtains admission into the department, or obtains pay, a gratuity or pension, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $50, or in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 months, or to both a fine and imprisonment.
1972 No12 s18Back to Top
16. A member shall not strike.
1972 No12 s19Back to Top
17. (1) In this Act, "government negotiator" means the minister or another person authorized by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to bargain on behalf of the province under this section, and the government negotiator is considered, on behalf of the province, to be a party to the bargaining.
(2) Where the Lieutenant-Governor in Council is requested in writing by a majority of the members of the department to direct the government negotiator to act under this section, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall so direct, and the government negotiator shall, within 60 days after receipt of the request by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council,
(a) bargain with a bargaining committee of members of the department; and
(b) make a reasonable effort to come to an agreement for the purpose of making an agreement in writing defining, determining and providing for
(ii) grievance procedures, or
(iii) working conditions
for the members of the department, other than the fire chief, the assistant fire chiefs and the shift superintendents.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), where 50% or more of the members of the department belong to an association, a request made under subsection (2) shall be made by that association, and subsection (2) shall apply to that request.
(4) The members of a bargaining committee referred to in subsection (2) shall be members of the department, but, where subsection (3) applies,
(a) the members of the bargaining committee shall be members of the association referred to in subsection (3); and
(b) at meetings held for the purpose of bargaining under this Act, the bargaining committee may be accompanied by 2 members of the association who are members of the department and who shall attend in an advisory capacity only.
(5) Nothing in this section prevents the bargaining committee of an association from containing a member of the department.
(6) A bargaining committee under this section may, in addition to a person who may accompany it under subsection (4), be accompanied by a legal counsel and another adviser, and the government negotiator may be accompanied by those officers of the Department of Justice or of another department of the government of the province that he or she considers advisable.
1972 No12 s20; 1987 c8 s1Back to Top
Duration of agreement
18. An agreement entered into under section 17 shall provide for the period for which the agreement is to remain in effect.
1972 No12 s21Back to Top
Board of arbitrators
19. (1) Where, after bargaining under section 17, the government negotiator or the bargaining committee is satisfied that an agreement cannot be reached, he or she or the committee may by written notice to the other party require all matters in dispute to be referred to a board of arbitrators, and those matters shall be settled by arbitration under this section.
(2) A board of arbitrators under this section shall consist of a chairperson and 2 other arbitrators.
(3) Where notice is given under subsection (1), the parties concerned shall each appoint an arbitrator.
(4) Where either party refuses or neglects to appoint an arbitrator within 30 days after the date of the notice referred to in subsection (1), the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall, upon the written request of the other party, appoint that arbitrator, and the 2 arbitrators appointed under subsection (3) and this subsection shall agree upon and appoint a 3rd arbitrator who shall be the chairperson of the board of arbitrators.
(5) Where the 2 arbitrators referred to in subsection (4) fail to appoint the arbitrator who is to be the chairperson of the board of arbitrators after 7 clear days' notice in writing from either party to do so, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall, on the written request of either party, appoint that arbitrator.
(6) Where both parties give notice under subsection (1) or (5), the date of the notice for the purpose of subsection (4) or (5), shall be the date of the 1st of those notices.
(7) Each arbitrator shall, before entering upon the duties of his or her office, take and sign the following oath or affirmation of office before a person authorized to administer oaths or affirmations:
"I, A.B., swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully, truly and impartially, to the best of my knowledge and ability, execute and perform the duties of an arbitrator on the board of arbitrators appointed under the St. John's Fire Department Act to ________________________________ and will not, except in the discharge of my duties, disclose the evidence or other matter brought before the board." (Where an oath is taken, add "So help me God".).
(8) Where an arbitrator, including an arbitrator who is appointed chairperson of a board of arbitrators, refuses to act, dies, resigns, or is unable to carry out his or her duties under this Act, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may, and shall, upon the written application of either party, by order revoke the appointment of that arbitrator.
(9) Where the arbitrator whose appointment is revoked under subsection (8) is not the chairperson, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall, by order, direct the party concerned to appoint another arbitrator and that party shall within 30 clear days after the date of the order appoint another arbitrator, but where that party refuses or neglects to appoint an arbitrator within the time limited, subsection (4) shall, with the necessary changes, apply.
(10) Where the arbitrator whose appointment is revoked under subsection (8) is the arbitrator who was appointed as chairperson, subsections (4) and (5) respecting the appointment of the arbitrator who is to be chairperson shall, with the necessary changes, apply.
(11) The revocation of the appointment of an arbitrator under subsection (8) shall not impair the right of the remaining arbitrators to act in conjunction with the arbitrator appointed to replace the arbitrator whose appointment has been revoked, and, where an arbitrator is appointed under subsection (8), that arbitrator shall proceed as if he or she had been a member of the board of arbitrators originally appointed.
(12) The decision of the majority of the members of the board is the decision of the board.
(13) Each party shall assume its own costs of the arbitration proceedings and shall share the cost of the 3rd arbitrator equally.
(14) The costs payable by the government negotiator under subsection (11) shall be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
1972 No12 s22Back to Top
Remuneration of board members
20. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall fix the remuneration of the members of the board of arbitrators and, where he or she orders the payment of that remuneration, fix and pay the remuneration of the government negotiator.
1972 No12 s23Back to Top
Time limits for proceedings
21. The board of arbitrators shall begin arbitration proceedings within 30 days after it is constituted and shall deliver the decision or award within 60 days after the beginning of the arbitration proceedings, but this latter period may be extended by written agreement of the parties concerned, in which event the decision or award shall be delivered within that extended period.
1972 No12 s24Back to Top
Duration of decision or award
22. The board of arbitrators shall, in its decision or award, provide for the period for which the decision or award is to remain in effect.
1972 No12 s25Back to Top
Duration of agreements
23. (1) An agreement made under section 17 shall remain in effect after the period provided for under section 18 until replaced by a new agreement, decision or award.
(2) A party to bargaining that has resulted in an agreement, decision or award may, at any time after a date not sooner than 3 months before the expiration of the period referred to in section 18 or 22, proceed under section 17 or 19 for a new agreement, decision or award, to take effect not sooner than immediately upon the end of the period, but not with retroactive effect.
(3) Where both parties to bargaining that has resulted in an agreement, decision or award agree in writing, either party to that bargaining may at any time during the period referred to in section 18 or 22 proceed under section 17 or 19 for a new agreement, decision or award, to take effect before the end of that period, but not with retroactive effect.
1972 No12 s26Back to Top
(a) agreement made under section 17; or
(b) award or decision of a board of arbitrators under section 21
shall not provide, directly or indirectly, for the alteration or elimination of an existing term or condition of employment or the establishment of a new term or condition of employment
(c) the alteration or elimination of which or the establishment of which, would require or have the effect of requiring the enactment or amendment of an Act by the Legislature, except for the purpose of appropriating money required for its implementation; or
(d) that has been or may be established under the Uniformed Services Pensions Act.
1972 No 12 s27; 1972 No 11 s2Back to Top
25. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) providing for the appointment, governing, regulating, clothing, equipping, lodging and paying of, making of allowances to and providing of medical attention, by the appointment and paying of medical officers or otherwise, for, the members;
(b) regulating the residence, classification, rank, service, instruction and distribution of the department;
(c) providing for the establishment of a trust fund or trust funds into which those
(i) fines and forfeitures paid by members under this Act or the regulations,
(ii) fines, fees, commissions or other sums earned by or awarded or granted to members in connection with the performance of their duties, over and above their regular pay and allowances, and
(iii) other sums
that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may specify shall be paid, and prescribing how that fund may be used or spent for the benefit of the members, former members, dependents of members or of former or deceased members;
(d) providing for the orderly, disciplined, sober, honest, impartial, loyal, efficient, speedy, conscientious, obedient, secure, courteous and just performance of duties by members;
(e) providing that a member who fails to comply with or otherwise contravenes the regulations made under this section is guilty of an offence;
(f) prescribing what offences against regulations may be tried under the Summary Proceedings Act and what offences may be dealt with under regulations made under paragraph (h);
(g) prescribing penalties for failing to comply with or otherwise contravening the regulations made under this section, provided that, for an offence which may be dealt with under regulations made under paragraph (h), the penalty that may be imposed shall not exceed those specified in that paragraph;
(h) providing for the summary trial, by a disciplinary tribunal of members charged with offences against the regulations, providing for the compulsory attendance of the accused and of witnesses and for administering oaths or affirmations and, subject to a specific restricted penalty that may be prescribed in regulations made under paragraph (g), providing for the imposition, upon conviction of that member for an offence, of
(i) a fine not exceeding $100,
(ii) suspension without pay,
(iii) reduction in rank,
(iv) loss of seniority,
(v) reprimand, or
(i) respecting the composition of a disciplinary tribunal referred to in paragraph (h);
(j) providing for an appeal from a decision of a disciplinary tribunal constituted under the regulations;
(k) providing for the maximum period, and the conditions of leave of absence, including sick leave, which may be allowed to members; and
(l) generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.
(2) A person who is guilty of an offence under the regulations is liable to the penalty prescribed by the regulations.
(3) An acquittal or conviction of a member under regulations made under paragraph (1)(h) shall not be a bar to proceedings in a court in respect of an offence arising out of the same facts.
(4) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the regulations shall provide that a member shall not
(a) disobey or refuse to obey the lawful command of, or strike or threaten to strike, another member who is his or her superior in rank or is in authority over him or her;
(b) abuse or maltreat another member who is his or her inferior in rank or over whom he or she is in authority;
(c) conduct himself or herself by word or act in a traitorous or disloyal manner in respect of the Crown;
(d) directly or indirectly receive or solicit a gratuity or reward without permission of the fire chief, or a bribe;
(e) conduct himself or herself by word or act in a mutinous or insubordinate manner;
(f) fail to account for, improperly withhold, misappropriate or misapply public money or property or property not being his or her own and coming into his or her possession in the course of his or her duty or because of his or her being a member;
(g) divulge a matter or thing that it is his or her duty to keep secret;
(h) make an anonymous complaint to the fire chief, or a minister of the Crown, or a member of the House of Assembly;
(i) desert or absent himself or herself from duty without leave; or
(j) attempt to commit, or aid, counsel or procure another person to commit an act specified in this subsection,
and provision shall be made under paragraph (1)(e) with respect to constituting as an offence a failure to comply with or other contravention of a provision referred to in a paragraph of this subsection, and provision shall be made under paragraph (1)(f) that an offence shall be dealt with under paragraph (1)(h).
(5) Without limiting the generality of paragraph (1)(h), regulations made under that paragraph shall contain provisions for the preparation and service of written charges.
(6) In respect of an offence dealt with under paragraph (1)(h),
(a) a written charge may allege more than 1 offence and shall contain
(i) a separate statement of each offence of which the accused is charged,
(ii) a statement of the particulars of the act, omission, conduct, disorder or neglect constituting each offence, and
(iii) a statement of the place of the trial and the date and time of the trial, which shall not be less than 48 hours after service of the charge on the accused;
(b) at the time and place appointed in the written charge the accused shall be brought before the disciplinary tribunal that is to try the offence;
(c) the accused may plead guilty or not guilty, and where he or she refuses to plead, he or she shall be considered to have pleaded not guilty;
(d) an accused may be represented and assisted at his or her trial by legal counsel or another member or other person;
(e) an accused is not compelled to testify at his or her trial, but he or she may give evidence under oath or affirmation, and an accused who has not given evidence under oath or affirmation shall, at the conclusion of the case for the prosecution, be given an opportunity of making a statement to the presiding disciplinary tribunal;
(f) an accused may call witnesses on his or her own behalf and may cross-examine witnesses called for the prosecution;
(g) the rules of evidence shall be the same as those followed in proceedings under the Summary Proceedings Act; and
(h) the evidence of the witnesses shall be taken down and transcribed and a copy of the transcript shall be provided to the accused, where he or she requests one, within 48 hours after the passing of sentence.
(7) A member of a disciplinary tribunal appointed under the regulations has all the powers that are or may be conferred on a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act and a disciplinary tribunal is considered to be an "investigating body" for the purposes of the Evidence Public Investigations Act.
(8) A member concerning whom proceedings are taken under regulations made under paragraph (1)(h) may be represented and assisted in those proceedings by legal counsel or another member or other person.
1972 No12 s28; 1979 c35 Sch A; 1986 c27 s3Back to Top
Expenses payable on injury
26. (1) Where
(a) pay or an allowance is paid a member while absent from his or her duties; or
(b) medical or hospital expenses are paid or medical or hospital services are provided from public funds in respect of a member,
because of an injury or disability caused or contributed to by or resulting from the fault or neglect or other wrongful act or omission of another person, the amount paid in respect of pay, allowance, medical and hospital expenses and the cost of the medical and hospital services so provided is a debt due by that other person or by his or her estate where he or she is dead to the Crown and may be recovered by the Attorney General for the province.
(2) An action under subsection (1) shall be instituted in the name of the Attorney General for the province.
(3) Where, in an action or other proceeding brought for the recovery of the debt referred to in subsection (1), the member in respect of whom the debt was incurred is 1 of the persons found to be negligent, no amount shall be recoverable for the portion of the debt caused by the negligence of the member, and the portion of the debt caused by the negligence of the member shall be determined under sections 2 and 3 of the Contributory Negligence Act, although the member of the department may not be a party to the action or other proceeding.
(4) Paragraph (1)(b) does not apply to expenses for which provision is made for recovery by the Newfoundland Medical Care Commission under the Medical Care Insurance Act.
1972 No12 s29; 1972 No11 s2Back to Top
27. (1) The minister may, with the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, enter into and implement agreements with the Government of Canada for the use or employment of the department in giving effect to the laws of Canada in force in the province.
(2) The minister may, with the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, enter into and implement agreements with other authorities, whether municipal or otherwise, for joint firefighting and prevention of fire.
1972 No12 s30Back to Top
Power to amend agreements
28. Power to enter into an agreement includes power to amend that agreement but where the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council is required to an agreement, the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council is also required for an amending agreement.
1972 No12 s32Back to Top
Boards, committees and councils
29. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may establish boards, committees and councils that he or she considers necessary or desirable to assist and advise the minister in carrying out this Act and may appoint the members of those boards, committees and councils.
1972 No12 s33Back to Top
Certain powers of fire chief
30. The fire chief of the department may, anywhere in the province, attach and fix to a private or public building, dwelling or other structure of the same or another kind, in a manner satisfactory to him or her, fire alarms, wires and bolts, hooks, shafts or fastenings of any kind which he or she considers necessary for carrying on the work of the department or for extinguishing or staying the progress of or preventing a fire.
1972 No12 s35Back to Top
Buildings may be pulled down
31. The member in charge at a fire may, where he or she considers it necessary to extinguish or stay the progress of a fire, cause a building or a part of it to be pulled down or removed.
1972 No12 s36Back to Top
Compensation for loss or injury
32. Where a person sustains loss or injury by the pulling down or removal of a building or a part of it under section 31, the province shall pay him or her compensation in respect of that part of the loss or injury which he or she would not have suffered by the spread of fire if the building or part of the building had not been pulled down or removed, and the right of the claimant and the amount of the damage sustained by him or her shall be determined as if the loss or injury was caused by expropriation under the Expropriation Act.
1972 No12 s37; 1972 No11 s2Back to Top
Right of way
33. The members, with their engines, apparatus and appliances, have the right of way while proceeding to answer an alarm of fire through a street, road, lane or place in the province.
1972 No12 s38Back to Top
Closing of thoroughfares
34. The member in charge at a fire may, where he or she considers it necessary to do so, close all thoroughfares in the vicinity of a fire.
1972 No12 s39Back to Top
Power to enter building
35. A member may enter and convey hose through a public or private building, premises or place for the efficient fighting of fire, where the fire occurs in or on that building, premises or place or in or on an adjoining or adjacent building, premises or place, and an action or other legal proceeding does not lie against a member in respect of damage necessarily done by the member in the exercise of the powers conferred by this section.
1972 No12 s40Back to Top
Obstructing fire brigade
36. A person who obstructs a member in the discharge of his or her duties or wilfully retards the passage of an engine, apparatus or appliance used by that member is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $100, or in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months, or to both a fine and imprisonment.
1972 No12 s41Back to Top
Where other fire brigade gives help
37. For the purposes of sections 30 to 36, the officers and other members of a fire brigade, whether organized as such or not, which helps the department in fighting or preventing fire shall be considered to be members of the department while giving that help.
1972 No12 s42Back to Top
Notice of water shut-off
38. Where, for the purpose of examining, making connections or repairing, it may be found necessary to shut off the water from a main water pipe in the city, or the mains leading to the city, the city engineer, or the person in charge having the authority of the St. John's Municipal Council referred to in the City of St. John's Act, shall give the fire chief of the department timely written notice of the water being shut off.
1972 No12 s43; 1972 No11 s2Back to Top
Storage of explosives, etc.
39. (1) The fire chief or a member designated by him or her for the purpose may examine all places in the city where explosive compounds, detonators, gun powder, fireworks, dynamite or other articles, goods or merchandise liable to explode or cause fire are deposited.
(2) The fire chief or his or her representative may order the tenant or occupier of the place, or store, or premises in which the explosive compounds, detonators, gun powder, fireworks, dynamite or other articles, goods or merchandise liable to explode or cause fire are deposited to remove them, within a time to be specified in the order, to a place of safety outside the city, and the tenant or occupier shall comply with that order.
(3) A tenant or occupier who fails to comply with an order under subsection (2) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $100, or in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months, or to both a fine and imprisonment, and each continuance for a day or part of a day of a failure to comply constitutes a separate offence.
1972 No12 s44Back to Top
The Crown bound
40. The Crown is bound by this Act.
1972 No12 s46Back to Top
Act does not apply
41. The Public Service Collective Bargaining Act does not apply to the department.
1972 No12 s47; 1972 No11 s2
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