Bailout Law for Firefighters

When someone refers to a bailout law these days, it’s usually got something to do with the current economic crisis. However, the state of New York State Department of Labor Code recently issued a new occupational safety and health regulation that requires fire departments to address firefighter self rescue and emergency escape.

The law requires “an employer who employs firefighters”… [don’t you love bureaucrats….  an employer who employs firefighters….] to conduct a written risk assessment to determine if personnel at structure fires are “reasonably expected to be exposed to the risk of entrapment at elevations”.

If the risk assessment indicates that there is such a risk, then each interior structural firefighter must be equipped with a suitable escape rope and system components for self evacuation. System components must meet NFPA 1983 Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services. In addition, each firefighter issued self evacuation equipment must be given training, and the department must develop a system for routine inspections.

Here is a copy of the regulation. Download Code_Rule_800.7_firefighters

All in all a pretty interesting read. Oddly enough, the law exempts cities with a population of 1,000,000 or more…. Now I wonder who they might be excluding????

Our friends at have a nice write up as well.

About 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.

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