Legal

Chiefs, Overtime and Extra Compensation

Firelawblog.com - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 19:13
Today’s burning question: We are losing senior instructors from our fire academy because they are being promoted to Battalion Chiefs (or higher), at which point we cannot compensate them to teach on their days off… not even straight time. I am told this is because they are exempt under the FLSA but cannot find any legal clarification that explains what is going on. Why can’t we at least pay these officers straight time to come back and teach on their days off?
Categories: Legal

Deleting Derogatory Facebook Postings

Firelawblog.com - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:55
Today’s burning question: Can I block someone from posting on our FD Facebook page, or at least hide the comments from public view, because they have been posting derogatory comments ? Answer: yes and no. Government cannot censor members of the public. Government censorship violates the 1st Amendment.
Categories: Legal

DC Firefighter Assaulted At Scene Accused Of Being Impaired

Firelawblog.com - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 18:18
A DC firefighter who was assaulted by several people at the scene of an emergency involving an injured child, is now being investigated for being under the influence. The incident occurred yesterday when firefighters responded to a 3-year old injured in a fall, but the child’s parents refused to allow a firefighter to treat the child because he appeared to be impaired.
Categories: Legal

Washington Fire Department Settles Fatal Accident Suit

Firelawblog.com - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 19:55
The North Kitsap Fire & Rescue has agreed to settle a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of a 2014 accident between an engine and a motor scooter. Jason Foster was killed on July 4, 2014 following a collision between his motor scooter and an engine. Foster’s family filed suit against NKFR.
Categories: Legal

DCFEMS Dismissed from L’Enfant Plaza Suit

Firelawblog.com - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 22:47
A US District Court judge today dismissed the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department from the mass tort suit involving the L’Enfant Plaza smoke incident. The incident occurred in 2015 when an electrical problem caused power cables to begin emitting large quantities of smoke inside a metro tunnel.
Categories: Legal

Noose in Class Prompts Firing and Resignations in Florida

Firelawblog.com - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 09:16
Four Pompano Beach fire recruits are off the job following an investigation into a noose found draped over the seat of the academy’s only black recruit. The incident occurred at the Pompano Beach Fire Training Center on the recruits' last day of training, June 7, 2017, but was not immediately reported.
Categories: Legal

Florida Firefighters Suing For Hearing Loss

Firelawblog.com - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:41
Twenty-three firefighters from Palm Beach County Fire Department, Boca Raton Fire Department and West Palm Beach Fire Department have filed suit against Federal Signal Corporation seeking $3.45 million in damages for hearing loss associated with siren noise.
Categories: Legal

15 Sicilian Firefighters Charged With Arson

Firelawblog.com - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 22:29
Fifteen volunteer firefighters in Sicily have been arrested on arson charges. The firefighters from the town of Ragusa are also accused of calling in false alarms. The fires and the false alarms appear to be associated with a scheme to increase their stipends that were tied to responses.
Categories: Legal

Twice Fired New Mexico Firefighter Sues County

Firelawblog.com - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 20:40
A former Albuquerque firefighter who was fired for hanging up on a frantic 911 caller in 2015 because the caller swore at him, is filing suit against the Bernalillo County Fire Department who hired and then abruptly fired him. Matthew Sanchez was fired by the Albuquerque Fire Department shortly after the shooting death of 17 year-old Jaydon Chavez-Silver.
Categories: Legal

Florida Selfie War Paramedics Facing Jail Time

Firelawblog.com - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 19:55
The two Florida paramedics who engaged in a “self-war” by posing with patients may be headed to jail. Kayla Dubois and Christopher Wimmer used their personal devices to take selfies of themselves posing with 41 patients who were sedated, unconscious and in some cases intubated
Categories: Legal

7th Circuit Rules On Off-Duty Use Of Smartphone OT Case

Firelawblog.com - Sun, 08/06/2017 - 21:18
In a long awaited decision the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Chicago in a case where police officers sought compensation for the off-duty use of their smartphones. Sergeant Jeffery Allen claimed he and his fellow officers in the Bureau of Organized Crime were required to use their smartphones to communicate while off-duty, but were not compensated for their time.
Categories: Legal

Michigan FD Sued Over Fatal Crash

Firelawblog.com - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 20:32
The driver of a vehicle that struck a fire truck parked at the scene of a rollover crash on I-94 earlier this year is suing the fire department and the apparatus’ driver claiming "Neither the lights nor sirens of the fire truck were activated" at the time of the accident.
Categories: Legal

St. Paul Investigating Sick Leave Abuse

Firelawblog.com - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 21:19
Officials in St. Paul are investigating whether three officers misused their sick leave, costing the city ten of thousands of dollars. ABC Channel 5 is reporting that the three “are under investigation for allegedly defrauding the department of sick pay.”
Categories: Legal

Stamford Settles Second Suit Over 2011 Christmas Fatal Fire for $1.35 Million

Firelawblog.com - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 21:35
The Stamford Advocate is reporting that the second of three lawsuits involving the City of Stamford over the fire on Christmas morning 2011 that killed five family members, has been settled for $1.35 million. The fire killed Lily Badger, 9, and her twin sisters, Sarah and Grace, 7, along with their grandparents, Lomer Johnson, 71, and Pauline Johnson, 69.
Categories: Legal

Confederate Flag Prompts Protective Order Request in Maryland

Firelawblog.com - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 23:02
The response of a Montgomery County firefighter to seeing a Confederate Flag above a colleague's license plate has led his colleagues to seek a court protective order against him. The strange case began on July 18 when Firefighter Idris Debruhl took issue with what he saw on Firefighter Charles Lee’s personal vehicle.
Categories: Legal

Florida Firefighter Files FMLA Suit

Firelawblog.com - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 21:07
A Florida firefighter who was terminated last year is claiming the fire department violated the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Sergio Valdes was fired by the Greater Naples Fire Rescue on December 28, 2016, the same day he returned from a work related injury.
Categories: Legal

Facebook Post Leads To Firefighter Suspension

Firelawblog.com - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 19:49
A Facebook posting about a fatal dirt bike accident in June is continuing to raise troubling questions for a Long Island firefighter and his fire department. Jon-Paul Brechter was suspended from the Holbrook Fire Department, one day after he posted insensitive remarks on Facebook about an accident that killed two young men on a stolen dirt bike.
Categories: Legal

What is Our Biggest Liability?

Firelawblog.com - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 18:30
What is the biggest liability facing the fire service? Yesterday’s post was about a subrogation lawsuit filed by an insurance carrier against a fire department over a rekindle that destroyed a home. The insurer is seeking $640,000 in damages. Are cases like this our biggest liability?
Categories: Legal

Rural Metro Sued For Tucson Rekindle

Firelawblog.com - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 22:07
The insurance company for the owners of an Arizona house that burned in 2016 is suing the Rural Metro Fire Department for failing to fully extinguish an earlier blaze at the house. The January 9, 2016 fire destroyed the home of Jack and Connie Donovan in Tucson, causing an estimated $641,886 in damage
Categories: Legal

Minnesota Chief Resigns Due to Culture of Hostility

Firelawblog.com - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 17:16
A “culture of hostility”. That is a claim that more than a few fire chiefs can relate to. In the case of Brooklyn Park Fire Chief Kenneth Prillaman, that hostility came at the hands of a councilman who is also a firefighter
Categories: Legal

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