Fire Department Management and Liability Issues

Informational Memo

Published: September 1, 2019

Fire Department Management and Liability Issues
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See accompanying model documents below.

This material contains general information; it should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. Any attorney general opinions cited in this material are available on request from the League’s Research and Information Service staff.

Outlines the structure of city volunteer or paid-on-call fire departments and their basic management challenges in personnel, finances, and facility safety. Discusses optional organization as a consolidated department, powers of volunteer fire relief association members contrasted with city fire department employees and the Insurance Services Office (ISO) fire protection rating system. Addresses common issues of voting for fire department membership, electing a fire chief, use of beer or alcohol in the fire hall, and contracts for fire service.

Use these models with the discussion on “Fire Department Management and Liability Issues”: