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When you get sued for workplace harassment, discrimination, motor vehicle accident or for any other reason, one of the first things the plaintiff’s lawyer (and your defense counsel) will seek is your departments Personnel Policy Manual, SOG, SOP and Best Practices.

 If you are like most departments, there is a thick layer of dust on the covers or the Word version you used to draft your policy years ago is no longer technically supported.

Policy Manuals apply equally to Volunteer and Career Fire Departments and sufficient time should be taken to craft a bulletproof Policy Manual. Your fire department legal counsel will appreciate an up to date Policy Manual as they defend your department during these litigious events.

Fire Engineering is creating a POLICY BANK for all types of Policies, SOG’s and Best Practices for fire department use.

In order to accomplish this, Fire Engineering and I are seeking copies of your department policies to include in this growing Policy Bank. If you wish to participate, please send those policies to me, John K. Murphy JD at

I will review your department Policies for possible inclusion into the POLICY BANK and will attribute the name of the contributing Department. I will also place a disclaimer on each and every policy and make them generic for other departments to use. You can see what we have done to so far to start this project at:

Thank you for contributing to the success of this project.

JOHN K. MURPHY, JD, MS, PA-C, EFO, retired as a Deputy Fire Chief after 32 years of career service; is a practicing attorney and is a frequent speaker on legal and medical issues at local, state and national fire service conferences. He is a contributing author and lecturer with Fire Engineering at FDIC and a member of ISFSI.


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