recent ruling regarding firemen suing homeowners for negligence

Sorry , no snappy  post title. Doozie and I were reading this story today. Doozie said “This is all  about volunteer departments”.  I would like to think she  is correct.

Update 3/1/12

I got a call from my favorite fireman, and the word is the rank and file are well, rankled about this decision. It is about volunteers, at least one, in Epping. I frankly see no way around this except repeal and a good look at the Supreme Court of NH. I now have questions though about mutual aid  and the use of  volunteers. Let’s be  real , there is always one looking for a hole to fall in, or a spill in the grocery store to slip on.

My professional fireman says that the crappy deck stairway that collapses as they rush in does not trigger lawsuit thoughts in their minds. They are fully insured by the Community. In some other places that’s not  the case . This legal decision could though be a real complication in community relations for sure.

Aside- Hey, did you see whose aerial ladder  was in use at the Domino’s fire? I think  I saw  the EFD aerial  and an Engine right on the front line.

Mutual Aid, it really needs to be discussed a bit more.

Back to the  liability decision by the Supreme Court of NH.  I presented this scenario( trying to come up with a realistic NH case)  of a guy  storing ammo all over his bunker/house and it was not secured properly and some fireman got one in the leg as it exploded. He  laughed  and told me  last year in  Hampton Falls or one of the other Hampton’s this happened. The homeowners  ammo dump was an issue for responders.

The decision is then made to basically wait and lay low while pouring water  on the structure. That technique doesn’t result in a good save in most cases.It’s better to attack from the inside.

Tips for the homeowner

Secure your ammo,and fix your deck.

If landscaping some weekend leave no open holes , plant the tree the same day.

This new  legal rule  is  unique to good ole NH.

Faulty wiring , that’s  a commonly cited cause for fires right( overused imho) whose fault is that ?

“Honey call the electrician”  “Nah I saw Bob Vila do it ,it’s easy”

If you missed the details on this story an Epping Volunteer  slipped on an icy driveway and sued the homeowner.
Firemen wear helmets and special heavy coats and boots, to protect them.  Professional Firemen train to  reduce risk while still  doing their best to save  lives and property and provide care and  transport to medical facilities.

This recent legal opinion needs to be discussed and we need an action plan.

Mike

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