Executive Order

Executive Order No. 7: Organization and direction of firefighting services in civil defense emergencies

Date: 01/24/1951
Issuer: Paul A. Dever
Amended by: Modified by Executive Order 25
Revoked by: Executive Order 27

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, By Executive Order No. 3, issued October 18, 1950, the Governor established a Fire Division within the Civil Defense Agency of the Commonwealth, assigned the Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Prevention, as the sponsoring agency for said Fire Division and directed that each local organization for civil defense include, in so far as practicable, a Fire Division; and

WHEREAS, by said Executive Order No. 3, the Governor also established nine regions within the Commonwealth for the purpose of administering the civil defense plan and program, created the post of Regional Director for each region and provided for a Board of Regional Co-ordinators for the Fire Service in each region; and

WHEREAS, the President of the United States, on December 16, 1950, did proclaim a state of national emergency, and thereafter on the same date the Governor did proclaim that a state of emergency exists for the reason that the peace and security of the Commonwealth are endangered by the imminent threat of belligerent acts of enemies of the United States; and

WHEREAS, it is essential that adequate provisions be made for the co-ordination, mobilization and utilization of the fire forces and equipment of the Commonwealth, and of its political subdivisions, in order to cope with the existing state of emergency, and to provide effective protection of life and property in event of disaster or catastrophe:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Paul A. Dever, Governor of the Commonwealth, acting under the provisions of Acts of 1950, chapter 639 and all other authority vested in me, do hereby issue this order to cope with the existing state of emergency, and as part of the comprehensive plan and program for the civil defense of the Commonwealth.

1.  The Fire Divisions of the Civil Defense Agency of the Commonwealth and of the local organizations for civil defense shall develop fire fighting procedures, utilizing such fire fighting equipment as may now or hereafter be available, in order that they may be able to furnish, in so far as their personnel, apparatus and equipment permit, maximum fire fighting protection in event of disaster or catastrophe.

2.  The following agencies of the Commonwealth are assigned as supporting agencies to assist the Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Prevention, as sponsoring agency for the Fire Division of the Civil Defense Agency of the Commonwealth, in the performance of such functions of said Fire Division as may be related to the existing powers and duties of such agencies:

  • Department of Conservation (Division of Forestry)
  • Port of Boston Authority

3.  Subject to the direction and control of the State Fire Marshal as head of the Fire Division of the Civil Defense Agency of the Commonwealth, each Regional Director, with the assistance of his Regional Co-ordinators for the Fire Service, shall:

  1. Supervise and assist in the organization and training of the Fire Divisions of the local organization for civil defense.
  2. Expedite the making of any study and survey of fire personnel, apparatus and equipment required to be made under the provisions of Executive Order No. 1, issued September 8, 1950, or any other Executive Order hereafter issued.

4.  In order for the Fire Division of a local organization for civil defense to be established in accordance with the state civil defense plan and program as required by Acts of 1950, chapter 639, section 13, it shall include the organized fire department of the city or town and such auxiliary firemen as may be appointed under the provisions of section 11 (a) of said Act.  The head of said organized fire department shall be the head of the Fire Division of the local organization for civil defense.

In a town not having an organized municipal fire department, the Fire Division of the local organization for civil defense shall include those persons who normally perform the duties of firemen in such town, including members of fire departments of fire districts, and such auxiliary firemen as may be appointed under the provisions of said section 11 (a).  The official normally in charge of persons performing the duties of firemen in such town shall be the head of the Fire Division of the local organization for civil defense. If there is no such official, the head of the Fire Division shall be appointed by the Director of the local organization for civil defense.

5.  For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this order and of the civil defense program, the management, control and direction of an organized fire department shall continue in its duly constituted officers, who shall confer, consult and co-operate with the Director of the local organization for civil defense in all matters pertaining to the civil defense program in order to obtain the maximum practicable integration and co-ordination of the activities of  said fire department with the activities of other divisions of the local organization for civil defense.

6.  During the present state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor under the provisions of Acts of 1950, chapter 639, section 5, whenever the Director of a local organization for civil defense, after consultation with the head of the Fire Division of said organization, deems the fire fighting facilities available in his city or town inadequate to deal with conditions existing therein as a result of disaster or catastrophe, he may request the Regional Director to mobilize and dispatch additional fire fighting assistance to such city or town.

Upon receipt of such request, the Regional Director shall have authority to mobilize and dispatch to such city or town, with the approval of the State Director, such additional fire fighting assistance from any city or town within the region as the Regional Director deems necessary.  In mobilizing and dispatching such fire fighting assistance to a city or town within the region, the Regional Director shall determine the number of men and the nature and quantity of apparatus and equipment to be furnished by any or all of the Fire Divisions of the local organizations for civil defense within the region, and it shall be the duty of the head of each such division to mobilize and dispatch the personnel, apparatus and equipment specified by the Regional Director.

7.  During said state of emergency, whenever a Regional Director, after consultation with the Regional Co-ordinators for the Fire Service, deems the fire fighting facilities available in his region inadequate to deal with conditions existing in a city or town therein, as a result of disaster or catastrophe, he may request the State Director to mobilize and dispatch additional fire fighting assistance to such city or town.

Upon receipt of such request, the State Director shall have authority to mobilize and dispatch to such city or town, with the approval of the Governor, such additional fire fighting assistance as the State Director deems necessary.  In mobilizing and dispatching such fire fighting assistance to such city or town, the State Director shall have authority to determine the number of men and the nature and quantity of apparatus and equipment to be furnished by the Fire Division of the Civil Defense Agency of the Commonwealth, or by any or all of the Fire divisions of the local organizations for civil defense, and it shall be the duty of the heads of the respective Fire Divisions to mobilize and dispatch the personnel, apparatus and equipment specified by the State Director.

8.  Fire fighting personnel, apparatus and equipment dispatched to a city or town pursuant to the provisions of this order shall be under the command and control of the head of the Fire Division of the local organization for civil defense.  If the local  organization for civil defense does not have a Fire Division, the Regional Director shall designate the person to be in command and control of the mobilized fire fighting personnel, apparatus and equipment.

9.  Each Regional Director shall establish and operate a regional fire dispatch center for the reception and correlation of information concerning fire fighting personnel, apparatus and equipment of the region.  Such center shall function on a twenty-four hour basis.  Whenever fire fighting personnel, apparatus or equipment is dispatched from one city or town to another, whether acting pursuant to mutual aid arrangements or to this order, the head of the fire department whose personnel, apparatus or equipment is so dispatched shall, as promptly as possible, notify his regional dispatch center of the departure and return of such personnel, apparatus or equipment.

If fire fighting personnel, apparatus or equipment is dispatched from a city or town in one region to a city or town in another region, the regional dispatch center in the region from which such personnel, apparatus or equipment is dispatched shall, as promptly as possible, notify the regional dispatch center in the region to which such personnel, apparatus or equipment is dispatched, of the departure and return of such personnel, apparatus or equipment.

10.  Fire fighting personnel dispatched to a city or town, pursuant to the provisions of this order, shall have the same authority, immunities and privileges therein, and while in transit to and from such city or town, as if performing their duties within their respective cities, towns or fire districts.

11.  Every city, town or fire district providing fire fighting personnel, apparatus or equipment for service in another city, town or fire district, pursuant to the provisions of this order, shall be entitled to be reimbursed by the Commonwealth for (a) payments lawfully made to such fire fighting personnel or their widows or other dependents on account of injuries sustained by them in such service or of death resulting from such injuries; and (b) damage to its property sustained in such service.

12.  The term "fire fighting personnel" as used in this order, shall mean, unless the context otherwise requires, members of any lawfully organized fire fighting force however constituted, including call and volunteer firemen and auxiliary firemen appointed under the provisions of Acts of 1950, chapter 639, section 11 (a).

13.  Nothing in this order shall be deemed to limit the authority conferred upon cities, towns or fire districts by General Laws (Ter. Ed.) chapter 48, section 59A, as amended, or by any other provision of law with respect to authorizing their respective fire departments to go to aid another city, town or fire district in extinguishing fires therein, or to interfere with mutual aid systems between or among cities, towns and fire districts.

14.  Nothing in this order shall be deemed to limit the authority conferred upon the Governor by Acts of 1950, chapter 639, section 11 (c), or by any other provision of law with respect to requesting and utilizing the fire department of any city or town for service in any part of the Commonwealth.

GIVEN at the Executive Chamber in Boston this twenty fourth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-fifth.

By His Excellency the Governor, Paul A. Dever

Edward J. Cronin,
Secretary of the Commonwealth

 

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