No matter which side of the fence your on (line vs management), it’s important to stay current on legal issues that effect the fire service. For administrators, staying current is a no brainer. With the increasing statutory requirements and hiring scrutiny, it is important to understand and learn from case law. Line firefighters also stand to benefit greatly by learning from the mistakes of our fellow firefighters.
The best online resource I have found is Larry Bennett’s Legal Newsletter. The latest edition can be found here. If you recall, Larry Bennett is also the author of Fire Service Law, a brady text. This edition includes an interesting case on Hepatitis C presumption laws. If you’re unsure what your state includes in it’s presumption laws, visit the IAFF’s nationwide presumption legislative breakdown.
Perhaps the greatest thing about Bennett’s newsletter is that he’ll email you the latest editions if you sign up for the newsletter. No more fishing around online to find fire service relevant stuff, Larry does it for you. Kudos to him for doing the hard work and relating each case to a lesson-learned for the fire service. I encourage you to sign up for the newsletter and take advantage of this wonderful resource.
(Update) In my haste to get the post up, I forgot to add a very helpful fire service legal blog. Curt Varone, author of Fire Officer’s Legal Handbook, has a blog he regularly updates with relevant fire service law topics. Add his blog to your RSS feed, it’s worth a look.