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Legal Issues


The Policy Bank

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

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...

Family of San Francisco Airport Crash Victim Drop Wrongful-Death Lawsuit

The parents of a 16-year-old girl killed by an emergency vehicle responding to the crash of an  Asiana Airlines jet in San Francisco in 2...

Judge Sets Deadline for New Orleans Firefighter Payments

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the New Orleans City Council have until Aug. 21 to begin paying firefighters a judgment worth a potential $142 m...

Judge refuses Providence Firefighters' Request for Restraining Order on Shift Changes

A judge refused to issue a temporary restraining order sought by Providence firefighters to stop the city from moving ahead with shift changes.

FlareAlert Announces Battery Powered Emergency LED Beacon Kits

FlareAlert introduces our Emergency LED Beacon Kits. Designed for professional firefighters, law enforcement, and military, as well as persona...

Spotswood (NJ) EMS Official Killed in Ambulance Accident

A Piscataway woman working with the Spotswood Emergency Services was killed in an ambulance crash Saturday morning

FDA Makes Available New Food Related Emergency Exercise

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is making available a new food related emergency exercise to help public health and other officials understan...

Former New Jersey Firefighter Pleads to Lesser Charge in Fatal Crash

A former Wayne (NJ) volunteer firefighter had plead guilty to a lesser charge in a case in which he was accused of causing a fatal crash while en r...

Arbitrator Rules Grand Rapids (MI) Firefighters are Overpaid

Firefighters next year will start working more hours at a lower rate of pay because the city cannot afford "above market prices" for thei...

Selection and Use of Ballistic Protection for Fire and EMS Personnel

As fire and EMS personnel become increasingly exposed to scenes of violence, there has been a push toward these agencies acquiring body armor.

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...


Injured Wildland Firefighter is Improving

Daniel Lyon, the injured forest firefighter from Puyallup, was upgraded to serious condition but remained in intensive care Saturday night at the U...


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...

Officer Development

Taking the Promotion: How Becoming an Officer Changes Us

A new officer must change his technical approach to the fire, supervise his crew, and adapt to a new social role in the company . MATT MARIETTA&nbs...

Fireground Management

Oregon Fire is Nation's Top Priority

A fire in remote eastern Oregon that destroyed 36 homes and was threatening 500 more on Wednesday was declared the nation's top priority for resour...

Volunteers Corner

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Cleveland (OH) Firefighters to Test Sensors Developed by Local University and NASA

Case Western Reserve University and NASA Glenn Research Center researchers will work with Cleveland firefighters and elsewhere to design and t...

Top News

Injured Wildland Firefighter is Improving

August 30, 2015 Daniel Lyon, the injured forest firefighter from Puyallup, was upgraded to serious condition but remained in intensiv...

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