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Legal Issues


The Policy Bank

John K. Murphy Legal Blog

Rollbacks in Firefighter Pensions

Tue Jun 12 16:32:00 CDT 2012
In past blogs, I have warned that Cities, Towns and other governmental entities have set their sights on firefighter’s pensions and other public pension retirement benefits to include among the other egregious actions of reducing the numbers of f...

Legal Fire Prevention - Social Media Policy

Wed May 16 17:34:00 CDT 2012
With the recent spate of demotions, terminations and litigation related to the use of social media to post your likes, dislikes, ranting and ravings under an assumption that your First Amendment protections apply to you, here is another thought. They d...

The Fire Service Crucible – are we prepared to withstand the heat in order to survive?

Tue May 01 14:09:00 CDT 2012
According to Wikipedia, a crucible is a container that can withstand very high temperatures and is used for metal, glass and pigment production as well as a number of modern laboratory processes. While crucibles historically were usually made from clay...

Pesky Legal Fires that Keep on Burning

Mon Mar 26 20:28:00 CDT 2012
I’m the little voice in your head (otherwise known as your conscience) that keeps reminding you that you should not do this or that because it is: wrong, illegal, immoral or fattening. I am taking this opportunity to remind you of the pesky legal...


Mon Mar 19 09:09:00 CDT 2012
For you Marines in the reading audience, you can relate to the days of boot camp and the Drill Instructor in your face yelling at you when you are on your last legs, fatigued beyond your imagination and you were about to drop:  to motivate you to ...

Legal Issue Articles

Agreement Reached to Pay DC Firefighters $49 Million in Back Overtime

After eight months of negotiating, the District government is on the verge of paying $49 million in back overtime to hundreds of D.C. firefighters....

Two Victims of Butte Fire File Lawsuit Against PG&E

A Southern California law firm announced that it has filed a civil lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on behalf of two Calaveras County r...

Willis v. Charter Township of Emmet

Scenario: Christopher WilliS was driving his pickup truck eastbound on Interstate 94 in Michigan when he lost control of the vehicle, crossed the m...

Organizational Response to Conflict in the Fire Service

Rusty Sullivan asks, Is it possible for the fire service to develop a culture of mediation, a culture of expanding the pie, a culture of “we all wi...

Some States Offer Poor Benefits to Sick Firefighters

When San Francisco firefighter Tony Stefani developed a rare cancer in 2001, he used up all of his sick and vacation leave during his treatment. Tw...

Resolution Introduced Designating September "Campus Fire Safety Month"

U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Chairman of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, and Co-chair Peter King (R-NY) introduced a resolution de...

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu Held in Contempt in Firefighter Case

Civil District Judge Kern Reese held New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu in contempt Friday, but said he would give Landrieu one week to come up with ...

Legislation Extends Injury Benefits to Cal Fire Firefighters

State firefighters injured because of their work would receive up to one year of salary instead of worker’s compensation, if a measure that suddenl...

Man Arrested After Eight die in Paris Apartment Fire

French police have arrested a man suspected of starting a fire that killed eight people, including two children, in northern Paris

New Orleans Mayor Offers Firefighters $42 Million Settlement Plan

In a settlement offer likely to be seen as a provocation by New Orleans firefighters, the Mayor Mitch Landrieu proposed Wednesday a $42.25 mil...

Photo Gallery

Legal matters

Legal Minute: Fire Inspections

Why do we perform fire inspections? Retired deputy fire chief and attorney John K. Murphy discusses the legal aspects of conducting fire inspections.

Legal Minute: Issues That Get Fire Departments in Trouble

Attorney and former deputy chief John K. Murphy discusses some of the legal issues that seem to plague fire departments across the United States.



Stepping Up

Stepping Up: So Why Are We Doing This?

Taking a moment to let your firefighters know the learning objectives of a particular training session can help them focus on its purpose, Ron Hira...


FDNY Deputy Chief Disbands 'Merit Matters' Group

Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Deputy Chief Paul Mannix, head of the group "Merit Matters," disbanded the group last week, according ...

New Jersey Official Says Volunteer Firefighters, Rescue Squads Scamming Retirement System

The New Jersey state comptroller says that some volunteer fire departments and first aid squads are partaking in taxpayer-funded retirement account...

Newark (OH) Firefighters Union Files Grievance on Staffing

The Newark firefighters union has filed a grievance with the city over the fire department's staffing policy and timely notification of changes

Fire Service Traditions & History

Port Chicago Explosion, 1944

During World War II, untrained segregated personnel handling explosive armaments, the pressure to quickly load cargo, and a disregard for safety we...


Maine Firefighters Honor Fallen Coworkers

Dozens of firefighters from across Maine gathered in Augusta Saturday to remember their fellow first responders who died in 2014.


Agreement Reached to Pay DC Firefighters $49 Million in Back Overtime

After eight months of negotiating, the District government is on the verge of paying $49 million in back overtime to hundreds of D.C. firefighters....

Officer Development

IFSI Introduces and Schedules New Leadership Development Program

The University of Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) has scheduled its first offering of the Leadership Development and Decision Making (LDDM) ...

Fireground Management

More Boundary Management

A timely management topic we started to discuss last month is how organizational boundaries are established, maintained, and revised-they pretty mu...

Volunteers Corner

Volunteer Recruit Training Programs: a Recipe for Success

Developing a volunteer recruit training program is not an easy task. Training officers often become frustrated when their research results in a &qu...


Now Accepting Nominations for the 2016 Wildfire Mitigation Awards

Established in 2014 in response to an overwhelming number of great wildfire mitigation program efforts across the nation, the Wildfire Mitigation A...

Top News

Maine Firefighters Honor Fallen Coworkers

October 4, 2015 Dozens of firefighters from across Maine gathered in Augusta Saturday to remember their fellow first responders who d...

Fire Engineering

September 2015
Volume 168, Issue 9

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