Laws, in general, do not remotely resemble “plain english” and are therefore very difficult to navigate. While individual laws may be intended to “stand alone” and address a specific concern, the courts have pretty uniformly stated that everything must be taken in context–so if the legislature passes laws that contradict each other then we must
Looking forward to teaching the “Fire Chief’s Legal Tool Kit: Sunday only at Winter Fire School, in addition to working with Chief Brian Schaeffer and Asst. Chief Sam Persell to present “Surviving the Realities of Leading” on Saturday. Looking forward to another great MUFRTI event!
Another great year at the MAFPD annual conference. I enjoyed the discussions during my “Return of the Roaring 20’s” presentation and the turnout was great!
By the way, if you are a firefighter and have not had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Sarah Jahnke speak on firefighter health and well-being, you absolutely must make…
Join me next weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks for the Missouri Association of Fire Protection Districts conference!
*Firehouse Legal blog posts provide information only, and are not legal advice. For specific legal advice contact your attorney. No seriously, contact them, they’ll be happy to hear from you.*
So, let’s start with the threshold question: Does the FLSA apply to fire departments? The answer, as most everyone knows at this point, is yes…
Over the last few years I have spent significant time preparing and presenting discussions that have tackled broad scale legal topics within the fire service. I would sometimes spend my entire presentation time speaking on a single topic: Consolidations, the impact of Missouri’s medical marijuana legalization, fire department budget and finance issues, to name a…
Thank you to the Missouri Association of Fire Chief’s for inviting me to present “The Fire Chief’s Legal Toolbox” at your 2022 Annual Conference! I had a great time, the interaction with your members was outstanding–great Q&A!
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Hello and welcome to my little blog about the fire service and the law. I sincerely hope you will find it informative, thought provoking, or at least entertaining. If I can accomplish any of those three goals then I will consider this adventure a success.
This blog is the product of several different things. First, a recognition on my part that over time representing the fire service, many of the same questions/issue come up time and again. Second, the non-stop encouragement (See: Badgering; hounding) of my colleague Aaron Lukken, author of The Hague Law Blog, who believed beyond a shadow of a doubt I should be blogging, and making my voice heard. Ultimately however, it was the third reason for starting this blog that tipped the scale and sent me over the edge into the blogosphere. …
Continue Reading Welcome to Firehouse Legal!
Question of the day: If there is no business to conduct (which, in rural areas is a distinct possibility) then why have a monthly meeting? Is it not a colossal waste of time and effort?
The answer to the first question is because it’s the law. The answer to the second question, in typical lawyer fashion, is maybe yes and mostly no. And the second answer probably changes based on District size and workforce.
Fire Protection Districts in the state of Missouri are mandated to hold at least one meeting per month. If you’re curious, the statutory reference is contained in RSMO 321.200.1. Its right there in the first line and its pretty clear: “…the board shall meet regularly, not less than once each month.” This statute sets the minimum of course, and districts may meet more regularly as they deem necessary in the interests of the District. However, at least one monthly meeting is always required. …
Continue Reading If There’s Nothing to Do, Why do we Meet? (Hint: It’s the Law)
Based on my experiences, I believe that even amongst those who have served as fire chiefs or elected board members there are still some fundamental misconceptions or downright falsehoods about fire protection districts. So, what is a fire district?
In Missouri at least (although the basic statutory schemes for fire districts are very similar across the United States) a Fire Protection District is a specifically geographically delineated political subdivision created by a vote of its citizens under the laws of the State of Missouri. It serves only a handful of purposes; namely the prevention and/or mitigation of fire. This service can be expanded into the realm of other closely related functions such as rescue and hazardous materials response, or Emergency Medical Services (RSMO 321.010; 321.225). …
Continue Reading The Fire Protection District