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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

African-American Firefighter Files Federal Lawsuit Over Alleged Noose Incident

An African-American firefighter and his wife have filed a federal lawsuit against a City of Marion deputy fire chief, accusing him of throwing a no...

Yarnell Hill Fire Lawsuits Settled with Families

Arizona will pay a total of $670,000 to the families of the 19 hotshots who died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire and will implement new wildland fir...

Texas Firefighter Terminated Over Social Media Comment Regarding Charleston Killings

A Mabank (TX) firefighter was terminated after posting on social media about the mass shooting that killed nine people in Charleston, South Carolin...

St. Petersburg Considers Replacing Firefighter Helmets

Before becoming mayor, attorney Rick Kriseman represented a firefighter who claimed his city-issued helmet was defective and caused serious neck in...

Indianapolis Firefighters Give Emotional Testimony About Home Explosion

Veteran firefighters became emotional Tuesday when describing to jurors the devastation they saw when a 2012 explosion demolished an Indianapolis h...

Firefighter Who Died in South Dakota Fire was Intoxicated

Nearly two months after two people were killed in a house fire in Brandon comes an announcement about the deadly situation.

Firefighters Try to Take Down Drone Flying Over House Fire

An Orange County man said firefighters intentionally sprayed his $2,200 drone with their hoses as he was filming a fire.

Lawsuit: Oakland Firefighter Rolled Fire Truck at Airport to Avoid Plane

A veteran Oakland firefighter rolled his fire truck at the Oakland International Airport last year because he was swerving to avoid a way...

Brazil Court Convicts Two Firefighters in Nightclub Fire

A court on Wednesday convicted and sentenced two firefighters to a year behind bars in connection with a 2013 nightclub fire that killed more than ...

City of Houston Joins Families in Suing Owners of Hotel

The City of Houston has joined families of four firefighters who died in a fire in 2013 in suing the owners and operators of the southwest Houston ...

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...


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

IAFF Issues Statement on Trade Agenda and Firefighter Retirement Legislation

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) General President Harold Schaitberger issued a statement on Congress’ plan to hold firefighte...

The Effects of Staffing Levels on Critical Decision Making

Keeping the officer in a role that allows him to function as a leader and not be focused on tasks will result in better situational awareness, comm...

Fire Service Traditions & History

Fire Guts Warehouse: ‘Not Enough Water’

On June 21, 1982, fire severely damaged a 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse, less than a month after the local fire chief warned about inadequate f...


Arizona State Parks Win Land for Fallen Firefighter Memorial

The site where 19 Arizona firefighters died battling a wind-driven blaze will become a memorial park.


African-American Firefighter Files Federal Lawsuit Over Alleged Noose Incident

An African-American firefighter and his wife have filed a federal lawsuit against a City of Marion deputy fire chief, accusing him of throwing a no...

Officer Development

Training Officer's Toolbox: Air Consumption

How well do you know your crew's air consumption capabilities? In this week's training bulletin, Brian Ward provides two air consumption drills for...

Fireground Management

Wind Pushes Laguna Canyon (CA) Fire Away from Homes

More than 100 firefighters were struggling Friday afternoon to contain a brush fire that has charred 10 acres in Laguna Canyon and briefly forced t...

Volunteers Corner

Richardsville VFD Faces Three Fires in 48 Hours

Richardsville Volunteer Fire Department in the past 48 hours responded to three structure fires, two injury wrecks and five medical runs.


NVFC Receives Top ASAE Honors for Share the Load Program

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) earned a 2015 ASAE Power of A Gold Award for its Share the Load program, a behavioral hea...

Top News

Charlotte Johnson Joins AFSA Staff

July 6, 2015 Charlotte Johnson has joined the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) staff as Communications Coordinator effec...

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