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

Second Lawsuit Filed in New Jersey Apartment Building Fire

A second lawsuit was filed Thursday against the owners of an apartment building that burned to the ground last week, ...

Police Release Findings of Philadelphia Firefighter Sex Investigation

The Philadelphia Inspector General's Office has finished an investigation into alleged sexual activity involving a fe...

Washington, D.C. Government Owes Firefighters $47 Million

The D.C. government may soon have to write hefty checks to firefighters who have been denied overtime compensation fo...

IA City Council Fires Nearly All of Its Volunteer Firefighters

The City of Shelby is now left without a fire department. The closest one is now 15 miles away.

Indian Hill Mansion Owners File Multi-Millon Dollar Lawsuit

A local builder whose Indian Hill mansion burned to the ground last January is suing his insurance company for nearly...

Suspect Charged in Pittsburgh Fire

A suspect has been charged in connection with a huge fire that engulfed an entire city block.

Report Calls for Overhaul in LAFD Hiring

A new study calls for the hiring process of firefighters at the Los Angeles Fire Department needing another overhaul.

Complaint Alleges Hartford Fire Chief Urged Colleague to Lie Under Oath

More trouble may be brewing for the Hartford firefighter removed from his post as interim assistant fire chief&n...

Return NFPA Fire Experience Surveys by April 15 for Chance to Win iPad Air

The NFPA, as we do every year, has mailed out a paper version of our Fire Experience survey to each of you.

Michigan Governor Signs Firefighter Cancer Presumption Law

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation designed to benefit firefighters who develop cancer when putting their l...

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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.



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.


Green Bay (WI) Firefighters Union Loses Fight Over Making House Calls

The Green Bay (WI) firefighters union has lost a grievance regarding the implementation of a program that would see firefighters checking up on discharged hospital patients.

FDNY Firefighter in Trouble Over 'Merit Matters' T-Shirts

A veteran Fire Department of New York (FDNY) firefighter is in hot water over wearing "Merit Matters" T-shirts while on the job.

Atlanta Fire Chief Fired in Wake of Book Controversy

Atlanta (GA) Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has been terminated, according to news reports.

Fire Service Traditions & History

Humpday Hangout: Who Are the F.O.O.L.S.?

In this week's Humpday Hangout, Fire Engineering Editor in Chief Bobby Halton and Mike Dugan of the FDNY talk to Rob Fisher and Rusty Ricker and the Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society (F.O.O.L.S.) International.


Wisconsin Volunteer Firefighter Dies During Mutual Aid Response

A firefighter from the Rosendale Volunteer Fire Department in Wisconsin died January 21 after becoming unresponsive during a mutual aid response to a structure fire.


Second Lawsuit Filed in New Jersey Apartment Building Fire

A second lawsuit was filed Thursday against the owners of an apartment building that burned to the ground last week, while in Trenton a state lawmaker proposed a moratorium on all approvals of multi-family developments until state building codes can be reviewed

Officer Development

Stepping Up: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Even when corrective action is initiated in a professional manner, subordinates may be embarrassed or angry, sometimes for a long time, writes Ron Hiraki.

Fireground Management

Report Released on West Virginia LODD

NIOSH has issued a report on a fatal accident last year that killed a volunteer firefighter engaged in a rescue operation.

Volunteers Corner

Morristown (NJ) Fire Causes Heavy Damage to Stores

Dozens of firefighters and emergency management officials before dawn Saturday were still battling smoke billowing from the roofs of 82-84-86-88 Elm Street, six hours after 911 calls came in about a fire at 11:14 p.m. Friday.


NIH begins early human clinical trial of Ebola vaccine

The testing of a second investigational Ebola vaccine candidate, VSV-ZEBOV (developed by researchers at the Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory), was begun in October at the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Top News

Morristown (NJ) Fire Causes Heavy Damage to Stores

January 31, 2015 Dozens of firefighters and emergency management officials before dawn Saturday were still battling smoke billowing fr...

Fire Engineering

January 2015
Volume 168, Issue 1

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