Boilerplate Language In Policies

Today’s burning question: Many of our policies have a boilerplate statement saying that “company officers shall enforce this policy” and the “failure to follow this policy will result in disciplinary action.” Is this language really necessary? Answer: While there is nothing inherently wrong with such language… I am not a fan of it. It implies that your members are not inclined to follow the rules unless threatened…

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Part-Time Firefighter Overtime

Today’s burning question: Does a fire department have to pay overtime to a part-time firefighter who works more than 212 hours in a 28-day period? Answer: Yes. The FLSA does not distinguish between full-time and part-time employees. Any non-exempt employee ...

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Houston Loses Battle to Unilaterally Restructure Firefighter Pensions

A Texas appellate court has denied the appeal of the City of Houston in its efforts to unilaterally restructure its firefighter pension system to save money. The city sued the Houston Firefighters' Relief & Retirement Fund in 2014 claiming that pension costs were driving it toward bankruptcy seeking a declaratory judgment that the pension arrangement was unconstitutional.

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Florida Firefighter Charged After Son Dies In Overheated Truck

A Florida firefighter is facing manslaughter charges after he forgot his son in his pickup truck and the child died of heat stroke. Hillsborough County firefighter Troy Whitaker thought he had dropped off his 23-month old son Lawson at day care last Friday morning, and went home to study for promotion.

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Does Fire-Based EMS Create An Illegal Monopoly?

Today’s burning question: Do fire departments that provide exclusive EMS services in their jurisdictions violate federal antitrust laws by creating an illegal monopoly? Answer: That is the one of the primary allegations in a federal lawsuit filed last week by a California ambulance provider against Huntington Beach.

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Fired Texas Cadets Seek Reinstatement

In August, the San Antonio Fire Department took disciplinary action against six cadets for allegedly drinking during a lunch break. Four of the cadets resigned and two were fired. Two of the six cadets are now talking about what happened, and have indicated they are asking for their jobs back.

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Comp Time For Civilian Fire Department Employees

Today’s burning question: Is a fire department secretary entitled to comp time? Admittedly she is a fire department employee, but she is a civilian employee of the city. Answer: First of all, no one is “entitled” to comp time, not even firefighters. The FLSA permits public employers to allow employees to accrue and use comp time.

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Connecticut Chief Sentenced For Embezzlement

A former Connecticut fire chief who was found guilty last year by a federal jury on two charges of embezzling fire department funds was sentenced to three months in jail and three years of supervised released. Paul Perrotti, the former fire chief in Middlebury, was accused of stealing upwards of $70,000 from the department through a scheme involving his side business.

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Family Sues Long Island Fire Department Over Theft Allegations

The family of an elderly Long Island volunteer firefighter who was accused of stealing cash from a fundraiser several year ago, is suing the fire company claiming the man had Alzheimer’s. John BaRoss Sr., 80, and a 50 year veteran of the Greenlawn Fire Department, was banned after being accused of pocketing cash while selling pizza at the annual Fireman’s Fair.

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Florida Department and Chief Sued Over Hotel Closure

A Florida fire department and fire chief are being sued by the owner of a hotel that was ordered closed due to fire code violations. Kenilworth Properties, owner of the Kenilworth Hotel, is suing the City of Sebring, Sebring Fire Chief Brad Batz and C-T Protection Inc.

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