Told You So. Ontario Volunteer Department Charged After Fire Traps Firefighters During Rescue

Court raises issues of liability, training and funding.


"Mark My Words"

"Again, we're not calling for departments to abandon safe practices in order to put it all on the line for rescues. We encourage you to operate as directed by your department's policies. We do want you to be aware of a few things that hopefully will lead you and your department to ask "Can it happen to us?""



"Rare prosecution of fire department sparks angst over liability, funding"

"The case stems from an early morning restaurant fire in September 2009 when volunteer firefighters arrived to the frantic screams of a woman saying her boyfriend was trapped in the apartment upstairs."

""My concern is that, if in future, potential incident commanders are worried about possible litigation, is that going to make them second-guess their rescue decision?" said Mike Molloy, chief of the Meaford fire department now being prosecuted."


"The defence argues the safety guidelines Meaford allegedly failed to follow are not legally binding, and says the ministry gave a no-prosecution promise at the start of the investigation.


Make sure your house is in order before you find yourself in court.


Bill Carey is the daily news and blog manager for Elsevier Public Safety (FireRescue Magazine/Firefighter Nation, JEMS and LawOfficer sites.) Bill also manages the network and is a former volunteer lieutenant with the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County, Maryland.

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