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What is our biggest liability?
The headlines are shocking: fire departments sued, incident commanders charged with manslaughter, firefighters held personally liable. We have all been in classes where the instructor warns the students that failing to do it right could prompt Mrs. Smith to get her lawyer and sue you!!! But what exactly is our biggest liability? Who is most likely to sue us, and just how likely is a lawsuit? The answers will surprise you!!!

Curt Varone has been maintaining a comprehensive database of law suits involving the fire service for over nine years. The database now includes over 12,000 cases and climbing. It is a barometer of the liability risk that confronts firefighters and fire departments.

This program will explore that data and in the process look at the liability trends that confront the fire service. The truth is some of our biggest fears in terms of liability are largely overblown theoretical concerns – while other more threatening liability traps have gone largely unnoticed.

To draw an analogy to firefighter fatalities – trying to address liability concerns without knowing what the most likely types of lawsuits are - is like trying to reduce firefighter deaths without having data on how firefighters are actually being killed!!! Theory and good intentions can only take us so far!!! Without data, it is all anecdotal!!!!

Fire service leaders need this information. Hard decisions need to be based real liability challenges, not perceived or theoretical possibilities that rarely if ever occur. We now have the data.

The program will also go beyond the data to look at examples of the most common types of cases confronting the fire service. Lesson learned as well as proactive steps will be discussed.

Nov 30, 2022 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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