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Author Archives: Dominique A. Penson

When Firefighting Equipment Fails, Who’s at Fault?

What happens if a member of the FDNY is injured at work as a result of defective equipment? Suppose, for example, that the SCBA fails, or a thumb gets crushed by the apparatus door that has a new and hazardously placed handle. Is the City of New York liable to the firefighter for any resulting […]

When Is the FDNY Liable for Injuries to Firefighters?

What happens when an officer directs an FDNY engine company chauffeur to stop his rig in a bad spot — say, just over a rise on the Cross Bronx Expressway — and a firefighter is struck by a passing car while getting out of the rig? Or if, contrary to internal rules, one member of […]

Broad Protections Under the Law for NY Cops and Firefighters

As this blog has explained many times before, there are special laws in New York to protect cops and firefighters injured in the line of duty. Principally, that protection comes from General Municipal Law 205-a for firefighters and GML 205-e for cops. The two statutes are almost identical. With some refinements, they provide cops and […]

Firefighter Injury Highlights Importance of SCBA Performance

The recent injury of a Eureka Springs, Arizona firefighter may help FDNY personnel looking to avoid respiratory injuries at fire ground. According to a September 29 news report from KSFM, Rod Wasson had to spend weeks in a burn unit after removing the mask of his self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) while fighting a fire on […]

Firefighter Lawsuit Seeks Damages for Injured Thumbs

Firefighters responding to emergencies have become the emergency, due to poorly designed door handles on a new line of rigs that have led to several cases of crushed thumbs. Attorney Dana Cohen of Barasch & McGarry is representing five firefighters in a lawsuit against the City of New York. Each suffered a gruesome and painful […]

Overexertion Is the Top Cause of Firefighter Deaths in 2014

Statistics on line-of-duty deaths in 2014 contained some good news for the firefighting community. The National Fire Protection Association reports that fatalities were down significantly from 97 recorded deaths in 2013 to 64 in 2014. Seven vehicle fatalities was the second lowest total over the past 30 years, and those were volunteer firefighters. Among career […]

FDNY Gas Detector Purchase Could Improve On-the-Job Safety

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro recently announced that Con Edison and the National Grid had donated $150,000 to the Department. One hundred thousand dollars will go toward the purchase of 86 new portable gas detectors, as part of the Department’s plan to provide each of its 198 fire stations with a device. The gas detectors will […]

How Firefighters Can Reduce the Risk of Job-Related Cancer

In 2010, the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health initiated a far-reaching study of firefighters and cancer. That study and others have consistently generated credible evidence that firefighters are at greater risk for developing a variety of cancers than the population at large. For example, the risk of a firefighter developing testicular cancer is […]

Court Refuses to dismiss Police Officer’s Personal Injury Case Based on Pension Board’s Determination

NYC firefighters and police officers have similar pension rights and their pension boards operate very much alike.  As a result, cases that determine firefighters’ rights are applicable to police officers’ cases and vice versa. In one recent case, a New York appeals court rejected an attempt by the City of New York to prevent a […]

Firefighter Attorneys Urge Caution When Using Social Media

Recently, a storm of controversy arose surrounding racially provocative social media comments by the president of United Women’s Firefighters. Critics charge that Sarinya Srisakul’s remarks violate the FDNY’s social media policy, which prohibits postings that bring disrepute upon the Department. But an FDNY spokesperson would only say that Srisakul’s post is “under review.” The FDNY […]

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