Politics & Law Magazine Articles

  • Fire-Rescue Service Has Washington’s Ear

    There are hopeful signs that Congress and the Bush administration are listening to the fire-rescue service when it comes to critical issues surrounding the FIRE Act and the first responder package in the Homeland Security Defense budget. The fact that...

    Article • March 31st, 2002

  • Good & Bad News In President’s 2003 Budget

    The good news is that the President's budget for the 2003 fiscal year calls for $3.5 billion to be spent on support of first responders as part of the Homeland Security defense. Most of the money will go to local fire, police and emergency medical...

    Article • February 28th, 2002

  • A Change Of Heart On Capitol Hill

    When I wrote last month’s column, there was good reason to be pessimistic about the 2002 economic outlook and its impact on the fire-rescue service. It still looks grim at the state and local levels, but all signs indicate that Congress and the Bush...

    Article • January 31st, 2002

  • Another Tough Budget Year For “America’s New Heroes”

    Despite the expectation of more federal aid and the public’s new admiration for firefighters, 2002 still looks like another tough year for the nation’s fire departments as local governments return to the budget cutting of the early 1990s. The...

    Article • December 31st, 2001

  • Anthrax Scare Spots Weaknesses In Terrorism Response Capability

    If nothing else, the great anthrax scare has revealed the few strengths and many weaknesses in this country's ability to respond to a biological or chemical act of terrorism. It re-emphasized the many warnings from fire chiefs that their departments do...

    Article • November 30th, 2001

  • Aid For Firefighters How Much? Who Gets What?

    In the aftermath of September's terrorist attacks, the rush to provide federal support for the nation's firefighters resembles a cattle stampede that is splitting in all directions and threatening to run off the cliff. There's no doubt that the...

    Article • October 31st, 2001

  • Fire Department Rebuked On Grooming Standards

    A federal judge has ruled that the Washington, D.C., Fire Department cannot enforce its grooming standards against four firefighters who refused to shave their beards or cut their hair. In April, District of Columbia Fire Chief Ronnie Few began...

    Article • October 1st, 2001

  • Recall Must Not Deter Fire Service Campaign For Sprinkler Laws

    The current recall of some 35 million sprinkler heads presents a serious problem for fire departments attempting to revise and upgrade their state and local codes. No one in the fire service doubts the effectiveness of sprinklers as the best and first...

    Article • September 1st, 2001

  • A Quarter Century Of Change In Fire-Rescue Service Politics

    Veteran political reporter Hal Bruno reviews the progress America’s fire-rescue service has made in the past 25 years.

    Article • August 1st, 2001

  • Sexual Harassment: Department & Firefighter Responsibilities

    It has been three years since the U.S. Supreme Court rendered two significant decisions refining the law of sexual harassment. Those decisions require every employer, including fire departments, to provide a work environment that is not hostile because of...

    Article • August 1st, 2001

  • Firefighters & Wills: A Personal Note

    While the topic of the need for having a will and estate plan is not directly related to the fire service, I believe it is an important message that every firefighter and emergency responder needs to hear and take seriously. For the past 18 months...

    Article • July 1st, 2001

  • NFPA 1710: The Fight’s Not Over

    Opponents of the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) 1710 standard have not given up the fight and, if anything, are even more determined to do whatever it takes to prevent it from being implemented. Instead of ending the long and bitter battle...

    Article • July 1st, 2001

  • NFPA Approves 1710 Standard For Staffing Career Units

    For the first time in its long history, the American fire-rescue service has a national standard covering the deployment and staffing of fire companies on career departments. With labor and management working together, delegates to the National Fire...

    Article • June 1st, 2001

  • Fire-Rescue Service Learning To Play The Game Of Politics

    After all of the turmoil of the past six months, it's time to pause and take stock of the fire-rescue service's political strengths and weaknesses. It has been like a roller coaster ride, with high moments of triumph followed by low moments of defeat...

    Article • May 1st, 2001

  • Bush Budget Plan Nearly Killed FIRE Act Funding For 2002

    The fire-rescue service had its first contact with the Bush administration and, for a few weeks, it felt like a swift kick in the stomach. Without warning, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) killed the FIRE Act program for the next fiscal year...

    Article • March 31st, 2001