Fire Law
Fire Law
Curt Varone
Welcome to Fire Law – where we discuss the most important legal issues facing the American fire service!!! Join your host, Curt Varone, as we consider the often bizarre, at times humorous, but always challenging issues!
Episode 38: Burn Litigation and the Firefighter’s Rule
In this episode, Curt and attorney Paul Samakow discuss the Firefighter’s Rule, and in particular the challenges of recovering damages for burn injuries. Paul is a nationally known advocate for burn survivors and their families.  He has a national practice representing burn survivors.  Paul is the author of a book about compensation for burn survivors – Twice Burned – which, along with a paper he has written – A Handbook for the Caregivers of Burn Survivors, which talks about compassion fatigue – is available for free. Paul also is the creator of National Burn Prevention Day ( which is coming up on May 19th.
May 3, 2021
41 min
Fire Law Podcast #37: Fire Officers and Overtime
In this episode, Curt and Bill Maccarone discuss the recent decision by the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Emmons v. City of Chesapeake on the issue of whether battalion chiefs are eligible for overtime, or exempt executives. Copies of the supplemental materials discussed including a copy of the Emmons ruling (BCs are exempt executives), a copy of Morrison v. Fairfax County (captains entitled to overtime), and the First Responder Regulations, and available at:
Dec 8, 2020
37 min
Fire Law Episode 36 - FLSA OT for Firefighter Assigned to EMS
In this edition of Fire Law Vlog, Curt and Bill Maccarone discuss a recent decision out of Texas holding that firefighters at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport assigned to EMS do not qualify for the 207k exemption. Why is that a big deal?   Because without the 207k exemption they are entitled to overtime after 40 hours per week, not 212 hours in 28 days!     Here is the 203y definition discussed: 29 USC §203 (y) “Employee in fire protection activities” means an employee, including a firefighter, paramedic, emergency medical technician, rescue worker, ambulance personnel, or hazardous materials worker, who— (1) is trained in fire suppression, has the legal authority and responsibility to engage in fire suppression, and is employed by a fire department of a municipality, county, fire district, or State; and (2) is engaged in the prevention, control, and extinguishment of fires or response to emergency situations where life, property, or the environment is at risk.  
Nov 3, 2020
31 min
Episode 35 - Michigan Mistaken Death Pronouncement Suit
In this episode, Curt and Attorney Kali Henderson discuss the suit she just filed on behalf of four Southfield firefighters who were disciplined by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Oakland County Medical Control Authority, after a patient was declared dead, released to a funeral home, and found to be alive hours later by funeral home staff preparing to embalm her.
Sep 13, 2020
38 min
Fire Law Podcast #34 Disciplinary Challenges with Nicol Juratovac
In this episode, Curt discusses fire service disciplinary challenges with Assist Chief Nicol Juratovac. Nicol, an EFO grad with a law degree, is a 23-year veteran of the San Francisco Fire Department. Listen as they discuss fire departments who weaponize their disciplinary process, and well as the issue of double jeopardy for disciplinary matters.
Jul 2, 2020
49 min
Fire Law Podcast #33 - CARES Act Stimulus and EMS Billing
In this episode of Fire Law VLOG and Fire Law Podcast, Curt and attorney Kevin Fairlie discuss the recent action by the federal government to deposit funds in the bank accounts of fire departments that bill for EMS. The deposit has certain strings attached, which fire chiefs need to understand.
May 1, 2020
23 min
Fire Law Episode 32: Corona Virus
In this episode, Curt and Bill Maccarone discuss the legal implication of the Corona Virus COVID-19 quarantine on fire departments and firefighters. Quarantine raises questions associated with sick leave, work-time, overtime, and workers compensation and all are discussed in the podcast.
Mar 3, 2020
31 min
Podcast 31:  Q & A on EMS Billing and Medicare Medicaid Fraud
In this episode, Curt follows up a podcast from last month with attorney Kevin Fairlie to address some questions that listeners submitted about the challenges associated with fire departments who bill Medicare and Medicaid for EMS transports. Kevin’s law practice concentrates on health care related topics, but a recent spate of federal investigations across the country into fire department EMS billing practices has led to a shift toward representing fire departments.
Feb 5, 2020
37 min
Podcast 30: EMS Billing and Medicare Medicaid Fraud
In today’s episode, Curt talks with attorney Kevin Fairlie about the challenges facing fire departments who bill for EMS transports. Kevin’s law practice concentrates on health care related topics, but a recent spate of federal investigations across the country into fire department EMS billing practices has led him to represent numerous fire departments. If your fire department bills for EMS, you need to listen to this podcast.
Jan 10, 2020
30 min
Podcast 29 Firefighter Overtime Lawsuits
In this episode, Curt and Bill Maccarone expound on Curt’s January, 2020 article in Firehouse Magazine addressing the most common ways that fire departments are being sued for overtime violations.
Jan 5, 2020
30 min
Load more