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

Wrongful Death Suit Expected After Fatal Massachusetts Fire

The family of a Boston University student killed in a fire last year after becoming trapped in her attic bedroom is f...

Kids Playing with Lighter Caused Superior Fire

After a destructive house fire in Superior on Sunday claimed the lives of two dogs and one cat, investigators have de...

Nashville Firefighters Get Reprieve in Gunshot Incident

Eight Nashville (TN) firefighters who were put on leave after a gunshot victim was not transported to an area hospita...

Tipton County Firefighters Deal With Radio Glitch

Tipton County Emergency Management reported Thrusday the problem with firefighters' radios is fixed

Group of Chicago Firefighters Fight City Hiring Policy

A group of Chicago firefighters has hired a lawyer in anticipation of a possible legal challenge to a city hiring pol...

High-Rise Safety Initiative Files Suit as NYC Blocks Petition from 67,000 Voters

The High-Rise Safety Initiative, a group of 9/11 family members and concerned citizens who are sponsoring a ballot me...

Veteran FDNY Firefighter to Become Second in Command

The FDNY's new first deputy commissioner is a veteran firefighter who has responded to nearly every type of emergency...

Cleveland Supervisors Disciplined in Shift-Trading Case

Cleveland Fire Chief Patrick Kelley has announced the results of disciplinary actions taken against 17 Cleveland Divi...

I Found a Gun on My Patient. Now What?

The action should you take if you discover your patient has a gun on their person truly depends on several factors le...

Former Utah Female Firefighter Alleges Sexual Harassment

Photo Gallery

Legal matters

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.

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.



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.


Arizona Firefighters' Group Chief: We Should Voluntarily Cut Pensions

The head of an Arizona firefighters' group says police and firefighters should volunteer to have their pensions cut in the interest of helping their struggling communities avoid financial disaster.

Albuquerque Sues Over Union Work

The city of Albuquerque is suing three labor unions over claims that their leaders drew pay while conducting union business.

McCook (IL) Firefighters Protest Mass Layoff

Firefighters in one suburban Chicago fire department picketed after the municipality decided to privatize its fire service and gave the contract to an outside company.

Fire Service Traditions & History

Hotel Fires: “It is Only a Matter of Time . . .”

In 1946, several deadly hotel fires—in Chicago, Illinois, Dubuque, Iowa, and Atlanta, Georgia—spurred the fire service to examine and ultimately strengthen the fire and life safety codes for such structures. Also, Fire Engineering contributor Greg Havel discusses what made these fires so deadly and contrasts the fire safety codes of that era with the more stringent ones of today.


Wrongful Death Suit Expected After Fatal Massachusetts Fire

The family of a Boston University student killed in a fire last year after becoming trapped in her attic bedroom is filing a lawsuit against the landlord and brokers, according to a news report.

Officer Development

The Job: Goals and Obstacles

What goals do you have as a firefighter, and what obstacles are out there that you have to overcome to achieve those goals? That the subject of this week's video from P.J. Norwood.

Fireground Management

Roundtable: Door Control

What steps has your department taken to add this "evolution" or assignment of door control in your department? How would your department handle this fire usng the new procedure? Share your thoughts with other Fire Engineering readers.

Volunteers Corner

NVFC Releases New Guide for Families of Volunteer Firefighters

Joining the volunteer fire service means a lifestyle change not only for the individual volunteer, but also for their entire family.


Scott Safety, National Firefighters Endowment Donate 134 Air-Pak SCBAs

Scott Safety, a global manufacturer of respiratory and personal protective equipment and safety devices, together with the National Firefighters Endowment (NFE), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the lives of firefighters, today announced the recipients of their "Budget Tight?" grant program, an opportunity for fire training academies and departments to receive free updated SCBA equipment.

Top News

Wrongful Death Suit Expected After Fatal Massachusetts Fire

August 20, 2014 The family of a Boston University student killed in a fire last year after becoming trapped in her attic bedroom is f...

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