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.

Florida Chief Disciplined for Hostile Workplace

The fire chief of Ponce Inlet, Florida is being disciplined by the town manager for creating a hostile work environment following an investigation by the town’s police internal affairs unit. Fire Chief Dan Scales is facing a 120-hour suspension without pay, a 6% pay cut, and being placed on probation for one-year

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Texas Firefighter Sues Over Mandatory Vaccination

A Texas firefighter who was fired last year for refusing to get a required vaccination is suing for religious discrimination. Brett Horvath was terminated from the Leander Fire Department after he refused to get vaccinated for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT).

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Lexington Settles OT Dispute for $17.7 Million

Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government has agreed to settle a long-standing overtime dispute with its firefighters for a reported $17.7 million. The case was originally filed in November, 2005 in Fayette Circuit Court by firefighters who claimed the county miscalculated their overtime compensation.

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Texas Firefighters Terminated Over Hazing Video

Six firefighters with the Westfield Fire Department were terminated yesterday following a rookie hazing that was captured on video. The video shows a firefighter strapped to a backboard having water and an assortment of food items dumped on him by his colleagues.

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Missouri LODD Suit Settled

The University of Missouri has agreed to settle a wrongful death suit with the widow of a Columbia fire lieutenant killed in a partial collapse of a walkway in 2014. Lt. Bruce Britt was killed on February 22, 2014 at the scene of a collapse incident at the University Village apartments.

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Michigan Two Hatter Retaliation Suit Dismissed

A suit filed last year by a Michigan firefighter who was terminated for working in two fire departments has been voluntarily dismissed. Thomas J. Saladino filed suit after being terminated from the Wyoming Fire Department for continuing to work as fire chief in Jamestown Township.

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Defense Attorney’s Pants Catch Fire During Arson Trial

An attorney defending an accused arsonist had a mishap during his closing argument when his pants caught fire. The YCMTSU incident occurred yesterday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. Attorney Stephen Gutierrez has arguing that his client was innocent because the fire was the result of spontaneous combustion.

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NY Volunteer Pleads Guilty to Stealing $5.6 Million from Fire Company

In one of the largest cases of theft in the history of the volunteer fire service, the treasurer of the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department pled guilty today to numerous charges. Michael Klein was accused of embezzling over $5.6 million from the fire company over a thirteen-year period, starting in January 2002 until September 2015.

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County Settles False Arrest Suit By Firefighters

A scuffle between firefighters and county sheriffs at a vehicle accident scene in South Carolina has resulted in a monetary settlement in favor of the firefighters. The incident occurred in Chester County on February 14, 2014 at the scene of a jackknifed tractor-trailer.

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Chicago Police Fire War Case Resurfaces

A Chicago police officer who was involved in an on-duty altercation with a Chicago fire captain in 2011 that resulted in a $1.6 million settlement in favor of the police officer, has filed a new suit claiming he was demoted in retaliation for the first suit.

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