Fire Law VLOG: Turmoil in the Rockport Fire Department

It is the quintessential New England fishing village. A picturesque small town of just 7,000 people. What would cause the town to target its fire chief, and why would nearly the entire department threaten to resign if the chief was removed?

In this episode, Curt interviews Attorney Liam O’Connell who represents Fire Chief James Doyle and numerous taxpayers who are concerned with the actions of town officials. Chief Doyle is facing a termination hearing this week while the taxpayers are suing the town’s Board of Selectmen challenging the town’s efforts to take control of the fire department.

Here is a copy of the complaint Attorney O’Connell filed last week:

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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