1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Lincoln, NE

    Question Hands-On Seminar Instruction and Liability

    I've attended a couple of excellent seminars and symposiums (Houston, TX and Mankato, MN). In Nebraska, about the only training available is from the state...although it is free, it is very "sterile"--meaning very "IFSTA-ized." I've considered offering myself to conduct a few hands-on seminars on what I've learned at work and at the symposiums attended. My question is this--does this require liability insurance on my part? What kind of waiver forms are used? I'm not intending on providing any wreckless or unsafe training, I just want it to be legitimate and have my bases covered due to the dangerous nature of what we do. There are several companies out there like Staylow.com, firegroundtech.com, and TAsk Force Training. How do they do it? The primary things I'd like to cover are FG Survival and RIT training. In a perfect world, we'd have enough money to bring the world reknown experts to us, but that just isn't possible....Thanks for your help...

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    dragonfyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Birdsboro, PA


    Unfortunately, due to the glut of lawyers in this country there's not much you can do to insulate your self from a law suit. If someone wants to sue you because they got hurt doing something you taught them they will sue you. Your problem will be in defending the suit.

    As far as waivers go, most are only as good as the paper they're printed on. If anything the registration form should have something to say that the students are covered by their home company if they are injured during the training session. You as the instructor can exclude any student who doesn't have the proper coverage unless you are teaching for an institution that allows it. Then the onus is on them, not you.

    Most homeowners' insurance policy have a rider for professional liablity you can add. It's something you should have as a back up.

    If your state has an instructor's association they should be able to provide you with coverage. The Keystone Chapter Fire Service provides professional liability and Accident & Health insurance to all our members through VFIS. As far as we, and VFIS, know we were the first association in the country to provide such coverage. Our web site at www.keystonefire.org has all the information on the policy coverage.

    More than anything, make sure you are only teaching classes that you are qualified to teach and have the paperwork to back up the qualification. Should anything ever go to court you will need to prove that you could teach the class.

    Good luck.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".

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