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.

London Chiefs Under Investigation For Shelter In Place Decision

Today’s burning question: Could London’s fire chief and other senior fire officials be prosecuted over their decision to advise residents of the Grenfell Tower to shelter-in-place? Answer: According to the Telegraph, police officials are investigating whether senior fire officials should be charged in regards to their role in the deaths of residents in Grenfell Tower high rise fire. Seventy-two people died in the fire that engulfed the 23-story building on June 14, 2017.

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FDNY Sued For Bullying and Retaliation

A veteran Hispanic firefighter filed suit today alleging he was bullied and retaliated against by his colleagues after they learned that he sought and received claimant status under the Vulcan Society discrimination litigation in 2013.

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Louisiana Firefighter Charged With Arson

A volunteer firefighter with the Longville Fire Department in Beauregard Parish has been charged with arson. Chance Felice was arrested Monday and charged with setting a fire in his own home. He is facing a single count of simple arson.

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Maryland Fire Company Loses Suit For Grant Funds

A Maryland judge has rejected the request of a volunteer fire company to order a charitable trust to award it a share of an annual grant normally made to local fire departments. The suit was filed by the Salisbury Independent Volunteer Fire Company Number One Station 13 against the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.

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Boston Captain Drops Suit Against Dentist

A lawsuit filed last year by a Boston fire captain for injuries he sustained at a fatal fire in 2016, has been voluntarily dismissed. Captain Kevin Garry was injured at a building fire in the dental office of Dr. Walter Holman.

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Origins of the 7K Firefighter Overtime Exemption

Today’s burning question: I was wondering if you knew the origin of the firefighter exemption from the 40-hour work week? Has there ever been a push to remove that exemption? Answer: The law you are referring to is the Fair Labor Standards Act, and more specifically 29 USC 207k within the act.

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West Virginia Supreme Court Upholds LODD Benefits to Widow

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia ruled today that the widow of a firefighter who suffered a heart attack after transporting a patient to the hospital is entitled to worker’s compensation dependent benefits. FF-EMT Garry Rose of the McMechen Volunteer Fire Department, died on February 6, 2015

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Substitutions, Acting Out Of Rank, and The FLSA

Today’s burning question: Our department allows substitutions, not just within ranks, but one rank up and one rank down. As a result, concerns have arisen about what the FLSA requires when a substituting member acts out of their designated rank. Are substituting members entitled to compensation for acting while subbing?

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