Politics & Law Magazine Articles

  • Fire Law: Pregnancy Discrimination In the Fire Service

    I t was a discussion that took place many years ago, in a fire station, over dinner. “Hey, Chief, my wife is pregnant. Can I go on light duty?” the firefighter asked me in a baiting sort of way, with more than a hint of sarcasm in his voice...

    Article • October 1st, 2012

  • Taking the Pulse Of Local & State Politics

    It’s easy to assume that what happens with the fire service and government where we live is what’s happening everywhere. That may not be true. I just spent a month reviewing articles in newspapers and magazines and on websites about issues facing...

    Article • September 1st, 2012

  • Civil Rights Claim Denied

    A federal appeals court has rejected a claim made by the survivors of a Baltimore City, MD, firefighter killed in a training exercise that her civil rights were violated. However, the decision says more about civil rights law than it does about whether...

    Article • September 1st, 2012

  • How Community Involvement Pays Off

    One tradition of the fire service is the decentralized placement of resources and services in local neighborhoods. Many believe fire stations represent the most visible example of government’s investment in the overall safety and well being of the...

    Article • August 1st, 2012

  • The Budget Debates Continue

    Even as many local and state budgets have begun to stabilize, fire departments continue to find themselves in the middle of discussions by elected officials and other policy-makers relating to future funding – and they always will. Since 2008 (and...

    Article • July 1st, 2012

  • "Legacy of Leadership" In Challenging Times

    It was April 25-26, 2012, at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. Front and center was the 24th annual Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) seminars and dinner. Nearly 2,000 representatives of the fire and emergency services were in...

    Article • June 1st, 2012

  • Beer Bust in a Firehouse: What is a "Reasonable Suspicion"?

    Last September, Washington, DC, Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief Kenneth Ellerbe walked into a city firehouse and found several cans of beer in the refrigerator. He immediately placed all units in the station (engine, truck and ambulance) out...

    Article • June 1st, 2012

  • Theft in the Volunteer Fire Service


    Article • October 4th, 2011

  • Bipartisan Support for Fire Service Issues

      During each session of Congress, there are several pieces of legislation that stand to impact the fire service in positive or negative ways. The 112th Congress is no exception. Rather than go into detail concerning the current items on the...

    Article • March 30th, 2011

  • Politics Trumping Public Safety Too Often?

      Government entities go through in-depth selection processes to hire those they believe will best serve as fire chief, police chief or public safety director. Candidates are judged on many factors, including background, decision-making...

    Article • February 26th, 2011

  • World Trade Center Settlement

      Firefighters, police officers and others who worked on rescue and recovery efforts after the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks have reached a settlement with New York City over health damages they reported to have suffered. After seven years of...

    Article • December 27th, 2010

  • Seeding the Caucus


    Article • December 27th, 2010

  • Firefighter Photography

    Firefighters love pictures! And, they love taking pictures. Technological advances have made it easier than ever to take on-scene photos and videos. And, there are innumerable outlets for downloading them to the Internet and to personal devices. But...

    Article • May 27th, 2010

  • Hot Topics in Fire Service Politics

    The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) recently held the 22nd Annual CFSI Seminars and Dinner event in Washington, DC. The turnout was excellent, and the attendees had the largest menu of seminars to select from that the CFSI has ever...

    Article • May 27th, 2010

  • Protecting Your Organization's Funds from Theft

    Pick up any newspaper today and you can't miss stories about the current economic difficulties facing everyone. These articles, many packed with doom and gloom, may be found on the front pages. But keep reading and chances are somewhere on page six or...

    Article • May 5th, 2010