Author Archives: 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.

FDNY Sued Again Over Race Discrimination

Seven civilian employees of FDNY have filed a 59 page civil suit in federal court alleging that wide-ranging and systemic race discrimination persists in the department. The suit was filed December 1, 2017 seeking class action status for three groups of individuals, identified as “Job Selection Class”, “Compensation Class”, “EMS Lieutenant Class”

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The Status of Criminal Background Checks

Today’s burning question: Can a fire department legally conduct a criminal background check on applicants? I thought background checks were illegal now in most states except for law enforcement positions. Answer: While the laws pertaining to criminal background checks have ...

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$2 Million Wrongful Death Suit Filed Over Gatlinburg Wildland Fire

The family of a man killed in the wildland fire that tore through Gatlinburg, Tennessee last year has filed suit against Sevier County and the city. Deborah Spillers, the daughter of Gatlinburg pastor Rev. Ed Taylor, filed suit Monday in Sevier County Circuit Court accusing the city and county of negligence. The suit seeks $2 million in damages.

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NY Chief Sues Over 9/11 Related Illness

The fire chief in Utica was in court yesterday pressing the city to have his leukemia treated as a 9/11 related illness. Fire Chief Russell Brooks filed suit against the City for denying his claim that his chronic lymphocytic leukemia was brought on by his work at the World Trade Center in 2001.

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Suspension of NY Firefighter For Facebook Post Prompts $500k Federal Suit

A volunteer firefighter who was suspended over a Facebook post earlier this year, has filed suit against the city, the fire chief, and others involved in his suspension. James Squicciarini alleges that his Constitutional rights were violated when the Amityville Volunteer Fire Department suspended him over a photo he posted on Facebook.

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Complaints About Austin’s Peeping Lieutenant Expand

An Austin fire lieutenant who resigned in September amidst a criminal investigation into his having secretly filmed female subordinates in fire station locker rooms, is in the news again as firefighters are claiming they reported inappropriate behavior to the department years ago.

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Denial of Disability Pension Reversed Due to Bias By Pension Board Members

An Illinois firefighter who claims she was sexually harassed to the point she became disabled, has prevailed in the appeal of the denial of her disability pension because three of the five pension board members participated in the harassment. Sugar Grove Fire Protection District lieutenant Sara Naden claims she was forced off the job in March, 2014

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