Risk Management
Tips and Insights
November 30, 2020

The success or failure of a response to an emergency scene depends on the driver’s ability to get the crew on location safely, efficiently, and professionally without causing damage to public property or injury to the general public and fellow firefighters. The firefighter’s work of saving lives and property cannot begin or continue if the crew becomes involved in an accident while responding to an emergency incident. Many factors must come together for an emergency driver to consistently respond to emergencies in a safe manner. When any of these factors fail your firefighters and equipment can be subject accidents. This article is an example of what can happen when one or more factors fail.

November 18, 2020

The purpose of various Building and Fire Codes are to provide minimum standards to safeguard life or limb, health, property, and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, use and occupancy, location and maintenance of all buildings, structures and certain equipment within a building, and to protect the building structure from various threats and exposures. There are a number of building and fire codes available so it is up to each individual city or county government to adapt the one that best fits their need.

November 17, 2020

Circuit breakers are designed to break, or interrupt, an electrical current when there is too much current for the electrical line to carry safely, or when other unsafe conditions exist. When the circuit breaker fails to trip, uncontrolled current may flow through the system, causing overheating and increasing the risk of fire and damage to electrical equipment and electronic systems, and increasing the risk of injury or death to persons working on the equipment, or present in the building.

Harassment & Discrimination
November 13, 2020

This guide utilizes data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to provide practical information your organization can use to better understand common employment liability exposures. While many court, state and municipal codes may vary, there are still some broad practices and information all public entities can employ to recognize and mitigate the risks of these exposures. It is our hope that you will use this information to help identify your own exposures and to implement effective risk management practices.

From the Department of Justice
November 12, 2020

Law enforcement pattern and practice investigations by the Department of Justice (DOJ) continue to take place because of the high profile incidents of a few departments. As our culture changes, so do the demands and needs of law enforcement and the community. The origins of many DOJ investigations are from claims of improper use of force, unlawful stops and searches, as well as biased policing. Monitoring the various DOJ investigations is a good tool for your command staff to keep current with the expectations of the justice system including your management systems, policies, and actions on the street.

October 30, 2020

Sewer back-ups are unfortunately an occasional issue that local governments have to deal with, some more often than others. These surprise occurrences are never a happy time for anyone, including the property owner as well as the utility who is trying to provide quality services to the citizens.

Every utility’s infrastructure is subject to aging, accidental damage, intentional misuse, and exposure to Mother Nature (e.g. corrosion of underground pipe, root intrusion, soil displacement, lightning, wind, surface flooding caused by heavy rain events, frost, etc.).

The utility’s infrastructure can and sometimes do fail, in spite of ongoing maintenance and regular upgrades. Discussions around making the damaged business owner or homeowner whole again (paid for their damages) usually revolve around negligence and politics.

Reduction-in-Force Precautions
October 29, 2020

In today’s unprecedented times, many public entities are facing budget shortfalls due to decreased revenue sources, record unemployment, and rising healthcare costs. According to a survey released jointly by the United States Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, nearly 100% of survey respondents will feel the economic impact of COVID-19 leading to both furloughs and layoffs.

Combatting #MeToo
October 28, 2020

In June 2016 the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published a report from the “Co-Chairs of the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace”. The report focuses on the prevention of unwelcome conduct based on characteristics protected under our employment civil rights laws, even before such conduct might rise to the level of illegal harassment. The EEOC’s Select Task Force was activated in early 2015 with the final report being presented June 2016, just before the #MeToo movement first appeared. Many good discussions, examples and conclusions came out of this report and are used here in an abbreviated form (access the full report)