Politics & Law Magazine Articles

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • The First Amendment & Emergency Scene Photos

    The images have become iconic: A firefighter wrestles with a news photographer who refuses to stop taking pictures of the treatment of a patient. A police officer arrests a cameraman who refuses his orders to stop taking pictures. A paramedic pushes the...

    Article • July 1st, 2013

  • Were You With the CFSI May 8 & 9, 2013?

    Times aren’t easy in Washington, DC, these days when it comes to maintaining federal support for issues that are critical to the fire service in the United States. For that matter, times are tough across the board for all groups advocating in the...

    Article • July 1st, 2013

  • Fire Law: Amending Benefits For Responders & Survivors

    I n late 2012, Congress approved and the President signed into law the Dale Long Act, the latest effort to close gaps in coverage of the Public Safety Officers Benefits (PSOB) Act. This caps an effort of nearly 40 years to completely correct flaws in...

    Article • June 1st, 2013

  • Fire Politics: Exercising Influence: A Political Must

    In previous columns, I have mentioned the political and operational challenges and opportunities facing fire service-based EMS systems as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) moves through its implementation – which has already started. There is urgency to the...

    Article • June 1st, 2013

  • Fire Chiefs Address Our Biggest Challenges

    I recently conducted a survey involving fire chiefs from 10 metropolitan fire departments in the United States. The departments selected for the survey were literally from East Coast to West Coast, from north to south. The chiefs were each asked to...

    Article • May 1st, 2013

  • Fire Politics: A Political Reality: It's All About Relationships

    T here is plenty for a fire chief and his or her executive team to do just running the fire department on a day-to-day basis. Dealing with the challenges that accompany the management of personnel, finances, services, programs and activities in the...

    Article • April 1st, 2013

  • Fire Politics: The Healing Power of Camp

    L exi Holmes is a bright, curious and fun-loving little girl, just like many other young girls. She loves to read and would like to turn her playroom into a library. She pours her entire being into drawing, singing or turning cartwheels. She remembers...

    Article • April 1st, 2013

  • Fire Politics: 15 Lessons in Leadership From the U.S. Senate Floor

    A speech was given on the floor of the U.S. Senate in late January that provided interesting insight into the leadership beliefs of a particular outgoing senator. He was leaving office after 28 years in the Senate. The speech was 50 minutes long, but...

    Article • March 1st, 2013

  • Fire Politics: Sometimes, Reality Trumps Political Rhetoric

    In my January 2013 column, I wrote about three wishes I had for 2013. I actually submitted that column to Firehouse ® on Nov. 26…and then December happened. A couple of incredible events that occurred in December 2012 made me wish that I had devoted...

    Article • January 7th, 2013

  • Fire Law: 2012 Cases And Controversies

    When I began to work on this review of fire service cases for 2012, my sense was that it had been a slow year compared with 2010 and 2011. In 2010, we had the landmark reverse-discrimination case of Ricci v. DeStefano, 129 S. Ct. 2658, 2671, 174 L. Ed. 2d...

    Article • January 3rd, 2013

  • Three Wishes For the New Year

    This being the January 2013 edition of the Fire Politics column, it is interesting to contemplate what could happen this year in politics to significantly benefit the fire service. I have learned over the years to keep my lists short and realistic to...

    Article • January 1st, 2013