Politics & Law Magazine Articles

  • Let Experiences Hands Lobby For Fire-Rescue Service's Interests

    The 106th Congress got underway with nothing more important than the impeachment of the President of the United States as its first order of business. Once that little matter is resolved, it will tackle other problems, such as saving the Social Security...

    Article • January 31st, 1999

  • Federal Court Permits Volunteer Activities by Virginia Beach Firefighters

    A federal district court has ruled that Virginia Beach, VA, firefighters are not entitled to overtime pay for their volunteer activities at rescue squads in the Virginia Beach area. The plaintiffs were Virginia Beach firefighters who sought compensation...

    Article • January 31st, 1999

  • House-Senate Panel Blocks Exemption For Hazmat Shipments

    Most of the time, this column reports on what has gone wrong on the fire politics battlefront. The reason is that so many things seem to go wrong and, when they do, it's essential for all of you to be aware of a new problem and prepared to take whatever...

    Article • December 31st, 1998

  • Supreme Court Decisions Put New Focus On Sexual Harassment Law

    Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two important decisions regarding sexual harassment (Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Burlington Industries Inc. v. Ellerth). These two decisions reaffirm the critical need for fire departments to...

    Article • November 30th, 1998

  • Major Fire-Rescue Groups Back Blue Ribbon Panel's Report

    There has been a positive reaction from the fire-rescue service to the Blue Ribbon Panel report on the federal fire programs and operations of the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the National Fire Academy and their relationship with the Federal Emergency...

    Article • November 30th, 1998

  • Blue Ribbon Panel Presents Master Plan For Federal Fire Programs

    A hard-hitting report from the Blue Ribbon Panel to review the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has been delivered to the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and it is everything the fire-rescue service could hope for. It presents...

    Article • October 31st, 1998

  • A Firehouse Kitchen Conversation

    It could have been a kitchen-table conversation in any firehouse in America. There were strongly held (and expressed) views on controversial issues, humor, "war stories" about incidents in the firehouse and while out on calls, and much more. It was the...

    Article • October 1st, 1998

  • Election Campaign: Time To Raise Fire Issues

    Another election campaign is underway and the next few weeks present a small window of opportunity to let the politicians know about the issues that concern the fire-rescue service. Their eyes may glaze over and they may profess total ignorance, but at...

    Article • October 1st, 1998

  • Fire Service Fights Agri-Business Over Hazmat Transport Rules

    A long-running dispute between the fire service and the agriculture-business industry has become a semi-monthly skirmish on Capitol Hill. The issue is hazardous materials regulations and the battleground is the hearing rooms of various congressional...

    Article • August 1st, 1998

  • Volunteer Fire Departments And Political Activities

    In my April 1998 column describing the legal limits on political campaign activities, I focused on individual firefighters, especially those employed by local governments. I urged that the fire service, both institutionally and individually, be an...

    Article • August 1st, 1998

  • Battling Over The Code Process

    When it comes to saving lives and property on a grand scale, nothing is more important than the strict enforcement of strong building, fire and life safety codes. Every hour of every day, fire departments respond to alarms that turn out to be routine...

    Article • July 1st, 1998

  • Report Writing: It Really Is Important

    For most of us, writing reports and keeping records is the least favorite part of the job. Paperwork is boring to the action-oriented firefighter or paramedic/EMT. Further, it sometimes seems hard to understand the need for the seemingly endless...

    Article • June 1st, 1998

  • Feds Taking Notice Of Fire Service Concerns

    There have been several important developments on two issues of vital concern to the fire service: (1) preparing first responders for terrorist attacks, and (2) saving the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and National Fire Academy from sliding into...

    Article • June 1st, 1998

  • Something Is Rotten At Emmitsburg

    It was 25 years ago this month that a presidential commission delivered a report entitled, "America Burning," which led to creation of the U.S Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Fire Academy. While there have been some important accomplishments...

    Article • May 1st, 1998

  • Traffic Fatalities Lead To Firefighter Indictment

    The chief prosecutor of Prince Georges County, MD, has authorized the filing of criminal charges against the driver of a fire engine that struck a car, killing a woman and her 4-year-old son. On May 4, 1997, at about noon, the engine was responding to...

    Article • November 30th, 1997