Fire Corps Liability Guide Now Available

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Fire Corps volunteers provide valuable services to their fire departments – taking on important non-emergency tasks so that first responders can focus on their operational responsibilities. Yet liability concerns often create a barrier for departments who want to use community volunteers but are discouraged by the possibility of unexpected results, such as volunteer injury or harm to others caused by a volunteer. Members of the public may also hesitate to volunteer if the department does not offer liability protection and injury benefits.

To help departments and Fire Corps members prepare for the unexpected, Fire Corps has released a guide that identifies and addresses liability issues related to operating a Fire Corps program. Fire Corps Liability Guide: Managing the Unexpected in Fire Corps Activities shows how important it is to have a plan to minimize liability and pay for liability that does occur. It offers best practices for dealing with these concerns and provides the tools and templates to help departments manage unexpected outcomes.

Fire Corps teamed up with the Public Entity Risk Institute to develop this insightful guide for identifying and managing liability concerns. The Liability Guide is divided into three sections: a discussion about controlling liability in Fire Corps programs, a selection of sample documents drawn from successful Fire Corps programs from around the country, and a listing of additional resources.

“Departments nationwide are utilizing Fire Corps volunteers to enhance and expand the programs and services they can offer,” said Sarah Lee, Acting Fire Corps Director. “Yet many departments are hesitant to tap into this great resource because of the possibility that something might go wrong. Other departments have Fire Corps programs but don’t have a policy in place for managing any liability issues that may arise. The Fire Corps Liability Guide is designed to help departments address these concerns and minimize the impact of unexpected outcomes.”

Liability is an important factor to consider when implementing a Fire Corps program. The Liability Guide offers insights into how these issues have been addressed in other fire departments as well as looks at the insurance industry perspective. While the Liability Guide is a great resource for departments to start addressing liability concerns, it is an informational document only and does not offer legal or other professional advice. It also does not offer any guarantees against being sued.

Download Fire Corp Liability Guide: Managing the Unexpected in Fire Corps Activities for free at www.firecorps.org/implement.

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