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.

Muslim Medic Sues Detroit Over Discrimination

A Muslim paramedic has filed suit against the City of Detroit claiming that a white captain with a history of bigotry discriminated against him. Alaa Saade filed suit today in US District Court naming the city, Assistant Superintendent Sean Larkins and Captain Timothy Goodman

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Houston Prop B Ruled Unconstitutional

In a stunning reversal that has plusses and minuses for both sides, Harris County District Court Judge Tanya Garrison has ruled that Proposition B that mandates Houston firefighters receive parity with Houston police officers, is unconstitutional. The decision was handed down today.

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Court Upholds FDNY Citation for Nuisance Alarms on State Property

The New York Supreme Court for New York County has upheld a nuisance alarm citation imposed by FDNY on a business despite the fact the business was operating on state property. Genting New York, LLC challenged the nuisance alarm citation as illegal claiming the city lacked the jurisdiction over businesses on state owned property.

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Chief Demoted Over Off Duty Use Of City Vehicle

An Indiana fire chief has been demoted after a local taxpayer watchdog reported him for taking his city vehicle out of state for non-emergency reasons. Elwood Mayor Todd Jones demoted Fire Chief Brad Compton last week following an investigation that established the chief took his assigned Elwood Fire Department pickup truck to Marshall, Illinois.

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Massachusetts Suit Alleges Response to Fatal Stabbing Was Too Slow

The family of a woman who was murdered during a stabbing rampage in a small Massachusetts community in 2016, is suing the community and American Medical Response alleging responders from both entities failed to promptly arrive at the scene. Patricia Slavin, 80, died on May 10, 2016 after being stabbed by Arthur DeRosa

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Paris Firefighters Accused of Gang Rape

Six Paris firefighters who battled the Notre Dame Cathedral fire last month are facing possible criminal rape charges following an incident involving a 20-year old Scandinavian tourist last weekend. The victim met an off-duty Paris firefighter in a bar. She told police she had consensual sex with the firefighter at the firehouse, but was later raped by the others.

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FDNY EMT Loses Suit Over Hiring Age For Promotion to Firefighter

An FDNY EMT who was rejected for a promotion to firefighter because he was 8 weeks too old, has lost his bid to have a court order him appointed to the fire academy. Charles J. McCloskey was hired by FDNY as an EMT in April, 2012. He passed the promotional exam for firefighter in December 2016 and was placed on the "eligible to hire list".

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Burning Question: Medical Exams and Liability

Today’s burning question: Have you ever come across a case where a firefighter suffered an illness such as a heart attack, stroke or cancer, in a department that did not have a formal medical monitoring program and then was sued for not having such a program? Answer: While such a case is plausible, none of the cases in my database make that sort of allegation...

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Fort Lauderdale BC Loses Military Discrimination Suit

A lawsuit filed by a Florida battalion chief claiming he was passed over for promotion to division chief due to his military service, has been dismissed. Battalion Chief John H. Ramirez filed the suit in January accusing Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue of violating the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

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Fired Washington Chief Sues for $1.4 Million

A Washington fire chief who was terminated following a vote of no-confidence by the firefighters’ union, has filed suit claiming breach of contract and violation of his due process rights. Fire Chief David Bathke was fired by the City of Ocean Shores in January

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PA Chief Gets Probation and Restitution for Theft

A former Pennsylvania fire chief has been given 12 months of probation and must make full restitution for stealing $4,359 from his fire department. William “Bubba” Benecke, who served as fire chief for the Sharon Hill Fire Company, has reportedly already made restitution.

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