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Author Archives: cvarone

No-Show Tattoo Policy Questioned in Louisiana

Today’s burning question: My fire department just implemented a policy prohibiting any display of a tattoo while in uniform. Doesn’t this violate my First Amendment rights? Answer: As a general rule, no. However, that may not be the only grounds on which to contest such a policy.

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Indiana Firefighter Sues Over Noose Incident

An Indiana firefighter who was tossed a noose during a training exercise has filed a lawsuit in federal court naming chief who tossed the noose. Marion firefighter Mikel Neal and his wife, Rachelle Fears-Neal, have filed suit against former Deputy Chief Rick Backs. The four-page complaint alleges a single count of a due process violation.

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Yarnell Hill LODD Settlement Announced

Three lawsuits filed last year by the families of twelve of the nineteen firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill fire have been settled for $670,000 along with assurances that new wildland firefighting procedures will be implemented by the state of Arizona

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Diabetic Syracuse Firefighter Ordered Reinstated

A Syracuse, New York firefighter who was fired in 2013 because of diabetic episodes at work, has been ordered to be rehired and awarded backpay. John Williams was fired by the city over concerns that his diabetes was not being properly managed. Williams appealed his termination to the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court

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Indiana Retaliation Claim Settled

An Evansville, Indiana district chief who filed suit in federal court last year alleging whistleblower and First Amendment violations has agreed to settle his claims for $13,750. District Chief Keith Jarboe sued claiming he had been retaliated against after bringing to light certain payroll/overtime related improprieties. Chief Jarboe claims his retaliation consisted of a demotion from district chief to safety officer.

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Racist Post or Rush To Judgment, Political Correctness Edition

Earlier this week we covered the story of the Texas firefighter who reportedly posted a racist comment on the web site of a South Carolina newspaper following the murder of nine African Americans at the hands of a white supremacist. Now comes word that the comment was not made in support of the murderer but rather in reference to someone who donated a large sum of money to the victims' families.

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Texas Firefighter Terminated Over Racist Facebook Post

A volunteer firefighter in Texas who posted an offensive comment about the recent murder of nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina on the Facebook page of a South Carolina newspaper, has been summarily terminated from his fire department. Kurtis Cook was terminated by the Mabank Fire Department after posting that murder suspect Dylann Roof “needs to be praised for the good deed he has done.”

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Virginia BC Charged With Assault

A battalion chief with the Richmond Fire Department has been accused of assaulting a firefighter. Battalion Chief Tina Watkins, formerly the department’s Public Information Officer and one of the first female firefighters in Richmond, has been charged with simple assault over an incident that occurred at Station 23.

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Bizarre Lawsuit Against Maine Fire Department Dismissed

A bizarre lawsuit filed last December by the owners of a landmark Maine restaurant claiming the local fire department allowed their building to be destroyed by fire has been dismissed. US District Court Judge D. Brock Hornsby dismissed the claims of Robert and Judy Cousins, owners of Cap’n Nemo’s Restaurant that was destroyed by fire in December 2013.

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