Politics & Law Magazine Articles

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  • As Firehouse Sees It: The Truth, the Whole Truth And Walking on Eggshells

    R ecently, I received an email from a reader who asked why we haven’t covered a fire that killed multiple firefighters. Typically, we request permission to cover major incidents such as fires, natural disasters and multiple firefighter fatalities. But...

    Article • April 1st, 2014

  • Fire Law sidebar: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire Revisited

    Students of fire history know that the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire occurred on May 28, 1977, in Southgate, KY, and claimed the lives of 167 people, making it the third-most-deadly nightclub fire in U.S. history. Students of fire science know that...

    Article • April 1st, 2014

  • Fire Law: Firehouse Bullying: How to Recognize Trouble

    No one would ever confuse a professional football locker room with a firehouse. However, last fall’s widely publicized episode involving allegations of bullying in the Miami Dolphins locker room left me concerned because there are similarities between...

    Article • April 1st, 2014

  • Fire Politics: Political Support Is Essential To the Fire Service

    T he support of elected officials at all levels of government is essential to the health and well-being of the fire service. This has been written about and discussed frequently over time, but it has never been more clear than today. I usually dedicate...

    Article • March 1st, 2014

  • Fire Law: Emails, Smartphones And Overtime

    Every once in a while, someone will ask me a question that prompts a “that is crazy” reaction and I dismiss it as absurd. It may be a few minutes, hours or days later, but eventually I think about the question again. I may even research it a bit. Then...

    Article • February 1st, 2014

  • Fire Politics: Putting Public Safety In Private Hands

    Make no mistake about it – the decision to privatize all or part of any public safety emergency response system is a political decision driven by several factors, the least of which sometimes is the safety of the public. That seems like a brash...

    Article • February 1st, 2014

  • Fire Law: When Is Arson Not Arson?

    In April 2013, District of Columbia Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe testified before the DC Council in April that department investigators had resolved 72.7% of the city’s arson cases. His number was a large increase from previous years, and far higher...

    Article • January 1st, 2014

  • Fire Politics: Advocating on Behalf Of Fire Service-Based EMS

    Many fire service leaders from management and labor strongly advocate the importance of effectively representing fire service-based EMS systems in the political arena. This includes focusing those efforts at the national, state and local levels of...

    Article • January 1st, 2014

  • Fire Politics Sidebar: Managing Your Department's Reputation

    T he International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) paper Taking Responsibility for a Positive Perception (http://www.iafc.org/files/1DEPTadmin/TakingResponsiblity4PositivePublicPerception.pdf), issued earlier this year, highlights the marketing...

    Article • December 1st, 2013

  • Fire Politics: Communicating Your Value Can Define the Future

    Writing about national politics tends to be depressing these days. Instead of focusing on all of the Washington, DC, craziness in this column, I want to write instead about something that might be even more sinister. I’m referring to the recent surge of...

    Article • December 1st, 2013

  • Safe Building Codes Act: Worth a Pound of Cure

    “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Many of you know that Benjamin Franklin coined that phrase. It has become an adage in the fire service, one that I like to use myself when speaking on the issue of prevention and mitigation...

    Article • November 1st, 2013

  • Overcoming Adversity: A Fire Service Tradition

    It has been difficult recently to focus on anything on the national political stage other than what is going on in Washington, DC, regarding the budget and related fiscal and policy issues. Many who support members of Congress on both sides of the aisle...

    Article • November 1st, 2013

  • Fire Law: Cybervetting: Should You Or Shouldn't You?

    My wife has always accused me of making up words – but the term “cybervetting” is not one that I can take responsibility for. Cybervetting is the process of researching someone’s “Internet reputation.” It is being used increasingly by...

    Article • October 1st, 2013

  • Guest Commentary: Protecting "Our Own"

    Most American citizens will not make use of our services, although we depend on them to support us with their tax money or donations. Accordingly, what are we selling? How do we convince them to give up a portion of their hard-earned money to fund our...

    Article • October 1st, 2013

  • Three Critical Issues On Fire Service's Agenda

    There is always a lot going on at the national, state and local levels of government that impact the fire service community. So far, this summer has been no exception. In researching some issues that are important, but rarely make the headlines, I found...

    Article • August 1st, 2013

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