Local Fire Marshal Shuts Down Road Construction

Today’s burning question: I am the local fire district’s fire marshal and a contractor just erected signage indicating they plan to shut down a key road for construction that will result in a 10-mile detour for our fire apparatus. If this constitutes an unreasonable hazard in the event of a fire, can I issue an emergency stop work order? Answer: That is exactly what a fire marshal in Oregon did earlier this month.

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Polk County and SnapChatting Captain Sued Over 2017 Fire

The family of a man killed in a house fire in 2017, has filed suit against Polk County Fire Rescue and a former captain who was at the center of a subsequent YCMTSU incident. The fire on October 11, 2017 claimed the life of Edward McLaughlin, 78. Six other occupants escaped the early morning blaze.

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Georgia Firefighter Settles PTSD Suit for $250k

Forsyth County, Georgia has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a former firefighter who was prevented from returning to duty after taking stress-related medical leave because he was deemed to be a “safety-risk.” The settlement awards Timothy Smallwood $250,000 and resolves a federal lawsuit alleging a violation of ADA.

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Ohio Jury Returns Split Verdict in Toledo Sex Discrimination Case

An Ohio jury ruled today that one of two female Toledo firefighters involved in a lawsuit that stretches back over a decade, was discriminated against. The suit dates back to 2005, when Carla Stachura, Judi Imhoff and Geraldine McCalland, filed suit claiming they were subjected to gender discrimination, a hostile work environment, and retaliation.

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City Suspends Assistant Chief For Outrageous Remarks

An assistant chief with the Mount Vernon (NY) Fire Department has been suspended after a profanity-laden audio recording of him speaking with a fire lieutenant surfaced. Al-Farid Salahuddin was suspended without pay, and Mayor Andre Wallace was quoted by News 12 as saying he was “disgusted” after listening to it.

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Today’s Burning Question: Am I being Cheated Out of Overtime?

Today’s burning question: My department pays us on a 14-day cycle. However, we work a 53-hour work week. For some reason, our department does not pay us overtime until we reach the 106-hour mark in the 2-week period. If we are on a 53-hour work week, why are we not paid overtime after we reach 53-hours in the week.

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Fire Law Headlines: Idaho, New York, and Nebraska

Several cases are in the fire law news today. In Idaho, an assistant chief who was fired last April has filed suit in federal court claiming his termination violated his due process rights, was made in bad faith, and was done in retaliation for his speaking out about governmental improprieties.

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Burning Question on What To Do If A Subordinate or Coworker Sues

Today’s burning question: One of my subordinates filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against the fire department, the fire chief, the deputy chief and 75 John Does. Many members don’t want to work with her and are concerned about being formally named in the lawsuit. Can the city put her on paid leave pending the results of an investigation? Is there any case law that you can think of off the top of your head?

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