Uncomfortable Questions

As I was searching the internet this morning looking for the latest in fire service litigation news, I came across this article from LAWeekly discussing the problems of sexual harassment, physical ability requirements, and social engineering in the fire service in such an open and candid way that it warranted consideration here in Fire Law.

The article raises some very uncomfortable questions – but they are questions that none-the-less need to be addressed despite the political correctness issues that are raised. Certainly the LA City Fire Department has had to deal with its share of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation law suits in recent years – and for that reason it is understandable that LAFD is the  backdrop for the larger questions posed.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
  • Chief Varone,
    Though we don’t have an answer (or an excuse) for the many challenges facing today’s fire service in- and outside the courtroom, I did want to thank you for your efforts at raising the candor and quality of discussion in fire and emergency services law.
    Please let us know when you travels will bring you to Los Angeles. There is plenty of room at our firehouse kitchen table, and always a warm cup of coffee with your name on it.
    Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,
    Brian Humphrey
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department
    LAFD Blog: http://lafd.org/blog

  • Todd Brophy

    Thanks for all the information. I view the Fire Service(and a lot of things) as a North American service verses a national service. While the laws in Canada and the USA are different, is there any way to include Canadian content?


  • Todd

    I do occasionally include a story from Canada, but – and I know it may be hard to believe – firefighters in the US keep me plenty busy with headlines!!!! Your suggestion is a good one and I will make an effort to broaden things a bit. If you happen to come across anything good – be sure to send it along to me at jcatlaw@aol.com.


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