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 Ambulance Billing Fraud Case Settled for $4.3 Million

The City of New York has agreed to settle a civil fraud suit brought by the United States Attorneys Office for $4.3 million. The suit claims FDNY improperly billed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for millions of dollars between October 2008 and October 2012 for services that were not “medically necessary”.

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Mississippi Fire Department Sued for $2.5 Million Over Dreadlocks

An applicant to the Gulfport Fire Department who was told he would have to cut his dreadlocks before he could start last year, has filed suit claiming race discrimination. Larry Christmas Jr. claims he passed the written and agility tests necessary to start with the GFD but was ordered to cut his dreadlocks.

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Illinois Firefighter Charged With Multiple Arsons

A volunteer firefighter in Illinois has been charged in connection with a series of five arson fires over the past two weeks. Kenneth Grabow, 20, is facing 6 counts of criminal damage to property and 4 counts of arson in connection with the 5 fires.

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Brevard County Patient Abuse Case Resolved

Brevard County has reached a settlement with the patient who was injured last year when a paramedic flipped him off a stretcher after transporting him to the Weusthoff Medical Center. The patient, James Slater, filed suit last month against Brevard County and former Brevard County Fire Rescue paramedic Kenneth Hallenbeck

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Portland, Oregon Settles Assault Case Against Fire Chief for $5k

A lawsuit filed by a civilian fire department employee that accused Portland Fire Chief Erin Janssens of assault has been settled for $5,000. Brian Alcid, who served as a facilities maintenance supervisor, filed suit last October claiming that in December, 2013, Chief Janssens grabbed him by the neck.

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Providence Rescue Officer Awarded $800k For Sexual Harassment

A federal jury took just four hours to award a former Providence Fire Department rescue officer $800,000 in damages for sexual harassment and retaliation. Lori Franchina filed suit in 2012 claiming she had been subjected to numerous instances of harassment, including incidents where co-workers refused to assist her at emergency scenes.

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Judge Rules in Wisconsin Fire District Funding Squabble

The battle between five Wisconsin municipalities over the allocations of costs for their jointly controlled fire district was resolved last week when a Chippewa County judge ruled that the Village of Lake Hallie cannot deduct tax incremental financing from its valuation for purposes of establishing its contribution.

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