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.

NY Firefighter Appeals Disability Ruling

A firefighter who was terminated in 2014, is appealing a trial court decision to dismiss several of his disability related claims despite the fact that most of his suit remains intact. Daryl R. Prindle was terminated from the Norwich Fire Department on October 29, 2014 for failing to maintain his EMT certification and a driver’s license

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Kansas Firefighter Challenges Residency Related Discipline

A Kansas firefighter who was suspended without pay pending termination for violating a residency requirement, is now suing the department, his union, the union’s business manager, the union’s attorney and the union’s attorney’s law firm. Todd Coleman filed suit in US District Court last month.

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Colorado City Settles Fire Department Race Discrimination Suit

The City of Aurora, Colorado has agreed to settle a race discrimination suit brought by probationary firefighters who washed out of the department during their first year for $480,000. The suit was filed in 2015 by two lateral hire firefighters who relocated from Kansas and Florida to Colorado to join the Aurora Fire Department.

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Alabama Firefighter Loses Second Discrimination Suit

An Alabama firefighter who claims he was the victim of race and age discrimination, has lost his second lawsuit against his fire department. Christopher Holden filed suit against the City of Madison, Fire Chief Ralph Cobb and Mayor Troy Trulock in 2017 after having lost a similar race discrimination suit in the same court in 2015.

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Georgia Firefighter Sues Over PTSD Related Termination

A Georgia firefighter who was prevented from returning to duty after taking stress-related medical leave is suing his department claiming disability discrimination. Timothy Smallwood filed suit against Forsyth County alleging a violation of Americans With Disabilities Act.

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Settlement Reported in Jacksonville Race Discrimination Suits

Jacksonville has reportedly reached a tentative settlement of three fire department promotion-based race discrimination lawsuits. The three suits were brought by the US Department of Justice and the EEOC and allege disparate impact discrimination in the department’s promotional process between 2004 and 2011.

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Burning Question on Overtime Training

Today’s burning question: I am a newly appointed fire chief, and have some grave concerns about how the city is calculating firefighter overtime. When are you going to have your FLSA class in [my state]? Answer: Unfortunately we can only deliver the FLSA class three times a year, once on the East Coast, once in the Mid-West, and once in the West.

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Injured Recruit Sues Nashville for $1.5 Million

A Nashville Fire Department recruit who was injured last summer in a training mishap, has filed a $1.5 million suit against the city. Jennifer Lockhart was injured on July 21, 2017 when she fell several feet while participating in a rescuing trapped firefighters exercise.

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