Legal Issues


John K. Murphy      

Seven Deadly Sins of Fire Service Leadership, Part 2

In Part 2 of his series, John K. Murphy offers some suggestions on how to avoid leadership sins.


John K. Murphy Legal Blog

Rollbacks in Firefighter Pensions

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

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?

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

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...


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

Syracuse Argues Arbitrator Does Not Have Right to Bring Firefighter Back to Work

A city lawyer argued in court that an arbitrator who ruled that Syracuse should bring back a fired firefighter with l...

GovX Offering Discounted MLB Tickets to Firefighters, the largest online verification ticketing service specifically for U.S. military service members, law enfor...

Triangle (NC) Firefighters and Police Train to Revive Drug Overdose Victims

Several police and fire departments in the Triangle are giving their frontline officers a device that revives people ...

Chicago Suspends 16 Firefighters for Falsifying Mileage

Another group of Chicago Fire Department personnel has been suspended for falsifying thousands of dollars worth of mi...

DC Wins Ruling on Changing Firefighters Schedules

An arbitration board has ruled that the D.C. fire department can implement a new work schedule with more frequent but...

Pennsylvania Bill Would Waive Local Income Tax for Volunteer EMS and Firefighters

Jacksonville Responds to Homeland Security over Firefighter Grant Review

The City of Jacksonville is responding to the Department of Homeland Security after the federal agency launched a civ...

Drone Hindered Ohio Medical Chopper

A man is facing charges after deputies say he was flying a video camera-equipped drone that hindered the landing of a...

Pittsburgh Firefighter Union Sues Governor Corbett

The union representing the city's firefighters has sued Gov. Tom Corbett, saying he overstepped his authority when he...

Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act Passes Senate as Part of Unemployment Insurance Extension

On April 7, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 3979, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, as ...

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Legal matters

Fire Service Team Building

How does one become a great team member? John K. Murphy has some thoughts about how firefighters can contribute to achieving their organization's goals.

Legal Matters: FMLA Pitfalls for the Fire Service

With the new health care legislation changing the way the fire service will be managing the health care of your firefighters and employees, it is time and money well spent training your staff on the nuances of the Family Medical Leave Act, John K. Murphy writes.



More Firefighter Features

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 Hiraki writes.


Forest Service Chief Cites Successes, Challenges in Testimony on FY15 Budget

In testimony today before the House Appropriations Committee, Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell cited three key areas of focus for the FY 2015 President's Budget of $4.77 billion for the Forest Service: restoring resilient landscapes, building thriving communities, and managing wildland fires.

FDNY Discrimination Lawsuit Settled

After seven years of legal wrangling, New York City settled a discrimination lawsuit against the fire department late Monday.

Bill Would Let Alaska Municipalities Make Changes to Fire Service

The Alaska Senate recently passed a bill that would allow municipalities to change aspects of their fire service areas without an area-wide vote.

Fire Service Traditions & History

From the FE Vault - Aug 23, 1879

As we enter into the 2014 Fire Department Instructors Conference, let’s look at a few pages from The Fireman’s Journal, August 23, 1879. Among other matters, in discussing a fire at a summer hotel—a regular occurrence back then—the editor raises questions about fire safe building construction and hazardous materials. “As these hotels are at present arranged, there is no protection afforded to either life or property.” It would take a “great calamity” to compel lawmakers to pass laws requiring hotel operators to provide fire protection. “At present these hotels are so many death traps, into which one lies down to sleep at the peril of his life.”


Owner of Boston Building Sues Welding Company in Fatal Fire

The owner of the building where a nine-alarm fire killed two Boston firefighters last month is suing the welding company that was blamed for sparking the fire.


Syracuse Argues Arbitrator Does Not Have Right to Bring Firefighter Back to Work

A city lawyer argued in court that an arbitrator who ruled that Syracuse should bring back a fired firefighter with lifelong diabetes acted beyond his powers.

Officer Development

FDIC 2014: The Qualities of a Good Officer

Dave Casey and Chris Niebling presented "Company Officer Development: Lead from the Right Seat" at FDIC 2014.

Fireground Management

Regina Fire and Protective Services Records Management System Useful for Optimizing Assets

Regina Fire & Protective Services reported today that with help from their Records Management System (RMS) partner, FDM Software, it was able to make significant department improvements over the past year.

Volunteers Corner

Globe and 3M Donate $20,000 to Terry Farrell Firefighter Fund

Globe Manufacturing Company kicked off its partnership with the Terry Farrell Firefighter Fund at FDIC 2014, the nation's largest firefighter training conference and exhibition held April 7-12 in Indianapolis.


Response Fire-Rescue Boat Delivered to South Carolina Fire Department

Response Fire-Rescue Boat Delivered to South Carolina Fire Department

The Response FR-28 specifications were developed by Mount Pleasant Fire Department in South Carolina to improve firefighting and rescue capability in the coastal areas surrounding Mount Pleasant.

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Response Fire-Rescue Boat Delivered to South Carolina Fire Department

April 23, 2014 The Response FR-28 specifications were developed by Mount Pleasant Fire Department in South Carolina to improve firef...

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