New Regulations at Wilkes-Barre
The City Council of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on May 2 passed an ordinance relating to the employment, removal and compensation of members of the fire department. The new ordinance, which follows, practically plans the department on a civil service basis: Section 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of WilkesBarre, and it is hereby ordained by the authority of the same, that the employees of the Bureau of Fire of the City of Wilkes-Barre shall consist of the number and rank which is now or may be hereafter fixed by ordinance. Section 2. That from and after the passage of this ordinance an applicant for a position in the Fire Department of the City of Wilkes-Barre must possess the following qualifications in order to be eligible: (a). He shall have been a resident of the City of Wilkes-Barre for at least one year and be a qualified voter at the time the application is made and shall not be in arrears to the City of WilkesBarre upon debt, taxes or otherwise, (b). He shall be of good moral character, possess intelligence and energy and be able to read and write the English language, (c). He shall be examined by a physician or surgeon in order to ascertain his physical fitness for the strenuous position of fireman. The standards for admission to the United States Army and Navy shall be used as a basis for said examination and special attention be given to the muscular development, condition of heart and lungs of the applicant. The cost of said examination shall be paid for by the applicant. Provided, however, that present members of the Fire Department, duly qualified on the fire tower, snail not be affected by the requirements above mentioned in Section 2, paragraph (c). Section 3. All applicants for the fire department during a period of probation not exceeding three months before an appointment or employment is made permanent, must qualify on the drill tower and pass an examination on the rules of the Bureau which are now or may be hereafter adopted by the Bureau. Section 4. All applicants must be at least five feet seven inches tall, weigh not less than one hundred and forty pounds and not more than two hundred and twenty-five pounds and have a chest measurement of thirty-four inches, with a chest expansion of three inches. He must be not less than twenty-one nor more than thiryfive years of age upon admission. Section 5. All promotions shall be made from the ranks. Such promotions shall be based upon competitive records of efficiency and seniority and shall be for merit only. Section 6. No term of service shall be designated for the stated employees. They shall be removed from their employment for cause only, by majority vote of the members elected to City Council. Before such removal, however, they shall be entitled, if they so desire, to a written statement of reasons therefor, and be allowed one week for answering such reasons in writing, and shall be further entitled to a public hearing before Council, at which time they may be represented by counsel when the evidence of the charge against them, upon which the written statement is based, shall be produced. Section 7. The causes for which a fireman may be dismissed shall be conviction of any criminal offense, violation of any ordinance or rule of the Bureau of Fire that may from time to time be promulgated by the City Council or the Superintendent in charge of the Bureau of Fire for the government of the department, or for any conduct unbecoming a fireman or for any cause which will not promote the efficiency of the service. Section 8. Reserve firemen, if such shall be created by City Council, shall perform the same duties and receive the same compensation when on duty in place of a regular fireman, as is fixed by ordinance for regular firemen. Reserve firemen may be dismissed by the Superintendent in charge of the Bureau of Fire for obvious inefficiency or any misconduct. Section 9. The Superintendent in charge of the Bureau of Fire or Chief of the Fire Department shall have the power to suspend a man from the department for a period not exceeding ten days, without pay, for violation of the rules of the department. In case of the suspension of any member of the Fire Department by the Superintendent in charge of the Bureau of Fire, he shall report the same to Council, together with his reason for the suspension at the next stated meeting of the City Council. In case the Chief suspends a man under this section, he shall report the same to the Superintendent in charge of the Bureau of Fire, who shall report the same to Council at the next meeting, together with the reason for suspension. Section 10. No fireman shall directly or indirectly give, solicit or receive, or be in any manner concerned in giving, soliciting or receiving any assessment, subscription or contribution for any political party, candidate or purpose whatever. No fireman shall use his official authority or influence to coerce the political action of any person or body or to interfere with any nomination or election to public office. No fireman shall act as an officer of a political organization, or take any active part in a political campaign, or serve as a member of a committee of any such organization or circulate or seek signatures to any petition, provided for by any primary or election laws, or act as a worker at the polls in favor of or opposed to any candidate for election or nomination to a public office, whether Federal, state, county or municipal. Section 11.