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City of Charlottesville, VA Fire Department
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES


Organization

Chapter: I - Manual of Operations
Subject: Memoranda
Code: 1-I-4
Revised: 6-6-96

4.01   PURPOSE

       To provide policy, procedure and guidelines to properly manage
       and   control   the   preparation    and    distribution    of
       intra-departmental memoranda.

4.02   POLICY

       A.  Memoranda  may be initiated by different levels within the
           department depending upon the  nature  of  such  memoranda
           (See 4.04).
       B.  All  memorandums  which  affect the entire fire department
           shall contain a termination date (See 4.05).
       C.  Only  those  memorandums which are of general interest and
           concern to the entire fire department shall be placed into
           the Memoranda Book.

4.03   RESPONSIBILITY

       A.  The  Fire Chief has the overall responsibility for control
           and management of the generation, distribution and  proper
           usage of intra-departmental memoranda.
       B.  All   members  who  are  authorized  to  originate  intra-
           departmental memoranda shall do so in accordance with  the
           guidelines established within this policy.
       C.  Members  who are charged with the care and updating of the
           Operations Manual sets are  responsible  for  keeping  the
           Memoranda  Book  current within the guidelines established
           within this policy (See 4.06).
       D.  It  is  the responsibility of the Fire Battalion Chiefs to
           report all new memorandums  to  each  Fire  Fighter  under
           their command and to record this action (See 4.08).
       E.  It  is  the  responsibility  of the Executive Secretary to
           convert departmental memoranda to  regular  policy  format
           and   to  distribute  such  on  or  before  the  indicated
           termination date.

4.04   INITIATION OF MEMORANDA

       Memoranda may be initiated by different levels within the Fire
       Department according to the following guidelines.
       A.  The  following types of memoranda may only be initiated by
           or with the approval of the Fire Chief:
           l.  Memoranda    announcing    a   permanent   change   in
               departmental policy.
           2.  Memoranda    announcing    a   temporary   change   in
               departmental policy.
           3.  Memoranda  announcing  promotions,  changes  of  shift
               assignments and other official personnel actions.
           4.  Memoranda   announcing  important  events  which  will
               affect the general membership of the department.
       B.  The  following  types of memoranda may be initiated by any
           level within the department.
           l.  Memoranda  which  are  used  as a communication medium
               between specific individuals.
           2.  Unofficial   memoranda  of  general  interest  to  the
               overall membership of the department.
       C.  Those  memoranda  which  are  initiated  within  the  Fire
           Department must have a purpose and should not be initiated
           frivolously or without true necessity.

4.05   TERMINATION DATE

       The  termination date on an inter-office memorandum is used to
       indicate the date after which the memorandum in question is no
       longer valid.
       A.  All  memoranda  which  affect  the  entire Fire Department
           shall have a clearly stated termination date.
       B.  The  time frame between the initiation of a memorandum and
           its termination date shall be no longer than is  necessary
           to  fulfill the function of said memorandum.  For example,
           a memo  announcing  an  event  on  a  certain  date  would
           terminate on the day of said event.
       C.  If  the nature of the subject matter of a given memorandum
           does not lend itself to an inherent  termination  date,  a
           time  frame  of  not  less  than thirty (30) days shall be
           alotted between its initiation and its  termination  date.
           For  example  a cover memo accompanying a new policy which
           contains instructions for placing the new policy into  the
           Operations  Manual  would  go  into  the Memoranda Book to
           alert Fire Department personnel of the new policy. Such  a
           memo  would  have a termination date based on a time frame
           of not less than thirty (30) days.
       D.  Memoranda  shall  be  discarded  whenever their respective
           termination dates are reached.

4.06   MEMORANDA BOOK

       A.  The  Memoranda Book is used to contain current memorandums
           which affect the entire Fire Department.
       B.  Only  current  memoranda  which  have  not  reached  their
           termination date shall be maintained within the  Memoranda
           Book.   All memorandum which has reached their termination
           date shall be removed and discarded.
       C.  Memorandums  shall be maintained within the Memoranda Book
           in chronological order.  The most recent memorandum  shall
           be kept in the front of the Book with all memorandum filed
           back chronologically, toward the back of  the  Book  where
           the earliest (but still valid) memoranda is kept.

4.07   THE COVER MEMO

       A.  The  Cover  Memo  is used as an instruction sheet to those
           members who  are  charged  with  maintaining  the  various
           copies of the Operations Manual.
       B.  Cover  Memos  are  a  form memo which contain standardized
           instructions concerning updates to the Operations Manual.
       C.  A  Cover Memo shall accompany every change, update and new
           policy of the Operations Manual.
       D.  Cover  Memos  are  placed  into the Memoranda Book for the
           period specified by the termination date.

4.08   GENERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL POLICY

       A.  New policies and/or changes in the existing policies which
           are permanent in nature shall be placed into the  standard
           policy  format  via  the  regular  established  system for
           policy preparation (see l-I-3).
       B.  Whenever  an  immediate or emergency need for a new policy
           and/or a change in  an  existing  policy  (which  will  be
           permanent   in   nature)   arises,  a  memorandum  may  be
           originated   in   order   to   expedite   the    immediate
           communication of the policy in question.  In this process,
           the following must hold true:
           l.  Said   memorandum   announcing  the  emergency  and/or
               immediate (permanent) change  in  departmental  policy
               shall  contain  a  termination  date  of not more than
               thirty (30) days.
           2.  Said   memorandum   announcing   such   an  immediate,
               permanent change shall contain a statement  indicating
               that  said policy shall be converted to regular policy
               format (See l-I-2 and l-I-3) and shall be  distributed
               for  update  of the Operations Manual on or before the
               indicated termination date.
           3.  Said  memorandum  shall be converted to regular policy
               format  and  distributed   to   those   charged   with
               maintaining the various copies of Operations Manual by
               the Executive Secretary on  or  before  the  indicated
               termination date.
       C.  New policies and/or changes in existing policies which are
           temporary  in  nature  are   normally   communicated   via
           memorandum.   Such memorandums shall contain a termination
           date in accordance with the time frame necessary  for  the
           temporary policy change.
       D.  Any  memoranda,  whether permanent or temporary in nature,
           shall be read by the Officers-In-Charge to each  shift  at
           their  respective morning meeting.  The Officer-In- Charge
           is responsible then to have the memoranda signed by  every
           Fire  Fighter,  under his/her command, signifying that the
           Fire Fighter has read and understands said memoranda.
       E.  The  signed  memoranda  shall  be  retained and filed in a
           chronological order by the  Officer-In-Charge.   The  most
           recent  memoranda  shall  be kept in the front of the file
           with all others filed  back,  chronologically  toward  the
           back  where  the  earliest  (but still valid) memoranda is
           kept.

4.09   DEAD FILE

       The  Executive  Secretary  shall  keep  a  Dead  File  of  all
       Memoranda Book memorandum which has expired.  Members  charged
       with  the  upkeep of the various Operations Manual sets should
       simply discard any outdated memoranda that may be in the Book.
       Station  Commanders  should discard outdated, signed memoranda
       that may be in the file.

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For Help using this system, send e-mail to:

Charles Werner (werner@ci.charlottesville.va.us)