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

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

LA Fire Official Fined for State Ethics Laws Violation

Tim Thiebau, a Harvey (LA) Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 official, has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for violating stat...

Chicago Aldermen Endorse New Firefighter Contract

Chicago firefighters would get raises of 11 percent over five years under a proposed contract endorsed Tuesday by the...

Wilmington (DE) Mayor Vetoes Ordinance Cutting Firefighter Jobs

Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams vetoed an ordinance that would eliminate eight positions in the city's Fire Departme...

Report: Fatal Lowell (MA) Fire was Accidental Electrical Fire

The Lowell apartment building that killed five members of one family and two others was an electrical fire.

Man Gets Probation in Philadelphia Firefighter LODD Case

Sheriff's Department: Cocos Fire (CA) Intentionally Set

The Cocos Fire that scorched nearly 2,000 acres and destroyed close to 40 homes in San Marcos, was intentionally set,...

City to Pay $495k to Seattle Firefighter with Damaged Hearing

The City of Seattle has agreed to pay $495,000 to a veteran firefighter whose hearing was permanently damaged when a ...

Military-Grade Munitions Found in Rubble of Phoenix Fire

What began as a massive lightning-caused fire Thursday night has turned into a criminal investigation after military-...

San Francisco Public Housing Fire Probe Finds Detectors Dismantled

Smoke detectors that failed to sound when a deadly fire erupted in a San Francisco public housing unit in April had b...
 Marcus Wynne, the world's foremost training designer for high-stress occupations, discusses neural-based learning for firefighters.

Firefighter Training: Neural-Based Learning for Firefighters

The Firefighters Support Foundation's (FSF) newest training program is now available. Neural-Based Learning for Firef...

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.


Los Angeles Mayor Names First Latino Fire Chief

Assistant Chief Ralph M. Terrazas, a Los Angeles native, has been named chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department. He is the first Latino to hold the position.

Report: More Memphis (TN) Firefighters Calling Out Sick

News reports say that more Memphis (TN) firefighters calling out sick to work recently.

Interim D.C. Fire Chief Confronts Host of Problems

Eugene A. Jones, the interim fire chief for Washington, D.C., is dealing with a slew of contentious issues in his new role with the fire department.

Fire Service Traditions & History

1944 Hartford Circus Fire: Tent Burned “Like Tissue Paper”

Seventy years ago this month, on July 6, 1944, the Hartford (CT) Circus Fire occurred when a tent, waterproofed with paraffin and gasoline, ignited and was  rapidly consumed. In the ensuing panic, 168 people died, many of them children, and hundreds suffered injuries. Local firefighters also lost loved ones. See how Fire Engineering reported on the tragedy and the fire safety questions it raised.


Bereavement Uniform Program to Attend IAFC Conference

The BUP is a joint effort between the Lighthouse Uniform Company and America's firefighting community, with the shared goal of ensuring every firefighter is honored for their service with a dress uniform for their funeral at no cost to the family. 


LA Fire Official Fined for State Ethics Laws Violation

Tim Thiebau, a Harvey (LA) Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 official, has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for violating state ethics laws.         

Officer Development

The Job: Effort at the Station

How does a leader deal with team members who are aren't putting forth solid effort in the firehouse? P.J. Norwood shares some ideas on how to deal with such situations.

Fireground Management

Video: WA's Watermelon Hill Fire Now 80 Percent Contained

The fire has been reduced to 10,518 acres.

Volunteers Corner

Firefighter's Special Needs Son Gets Reality Show

Rich Mistkowsk's son Tim Harris will star in the show "Everybody Loves Tim," which will explore the life of Harris.


Obama Signs Emergency Disaster Declaration for WA Wildfires

The president's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts and to provide assistance for emergency measures to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.

Top News

Bereavement Uniform Program to Attend IAFC Conference

July 23, 2014 The BUP is a joint effort between the Lighthouse Uniform Company and America's firefighting community, with the share...

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