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Legal Quick Reference Guides for the Fire Service

Answering common legal questions for the Fire Service.

The Legal team at DFS has created Quick Reference Guides to answer common legal questions from the fire service. They include:

  • Mutual Aid in the Massachusetts Fire Service
  • Ticketing and Administrative Hearing Process for Massachusetts Fire Code Violations
  • Mandatory Retirement Age for Massachusetts Firefighters
  • Line of Duty Death Benefits for Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters
  • Delegation of Authority in the Massachusetts Fire Service
  • Municipal Liability for Massachusetts Fire Departments
  • Authority of Mass. Fire Departments to Enter Buildings for Inspections

These guides are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. For questions about specific scenarios, consult with your own lawyer or the authority having jurisdiction. Readers of these guides should contact their attorney to get advice on any legal matter. No user of these guides should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information in the guides without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Only your attorney can provide assurances that the information in the guides – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your situation. Use of, and access to, the guides, links or resources on the webpage do not create an attorney-client relationship between the user and DFS.

More Questions?

The Legal team will continue to create Quick Reference Guides on common questions and concerns. To suggest a Quick Reference Guide topic, email MaryElizabeth Lynch-Lent at MaryElizabeth.Lynch@mass.gov.

Table of Contents

Mutual Aid in the Massachusetts Fire Service

Mutual aid is the cross-jurisdictional provision of emergency services, materials or facilities from one party to another when existing resources are, or may be, inadequate. The Quick Reference Guide - Mutual Aid in the Massachusetts Fire Service gives an overview of the different means of mutual aid available to the Massachusetts fire service.

Ticketing and Administrative Hearing Process for Massachusetts Fire Code Violations

The Quick Reference Guide - Ticketing and Administrative Hearing Process for Fire Code Violations gives an overview of the requirements and process to be followed when violations of the fire code have been identified and the fire department wants to issue a written notice of code violation (“Ticket”) and/or refer the case to the Department of Fire Services (“DFS”) for further administrative action.

Mandatory Retirement Age for Massachusetts Firefighters

The Quick Reference Guide - Mandatory Retirement Age for Firefighters in Massachusetts is an overview of the laws governing the mandatory retirement age for firefighters in Massachusetts.

Line of Duty Death Benefits for Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters

The Quick Reference Guide - Line of Duty Death Benefits for Massachusetts Firefighters outlines the types of benefits available to families of both Career and Call/Volunteer firefighters killed in the line of duty. The document also provides guidance for the Department of Fire Services on how to assist non-union and non-career departments with the process of obtaining the benefits for families of the fallen.

Delegation of Authority in the Massachusetts Fire Service

The Quick Reference Guide - Delegation of Authority for the Massachusetts Fire Service describes how to provide delegation of authority.

Municipal Liability for Massachusetts Fire Departments

The Municipal Liability for Massachusetts Fire Departments is an overview of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 258 as it relates to what types of claims can be filed against fire departments; who can be held liable; and limitations on damages and statutory immunities.

Authority of Mass. Fire Departments to Enter Buildings for Inspections

The Quick Reference Guide - Authority of Massachusetts Fire Departments to Enter Buildings for Inspections is an overview of the authority of Massachusetts fire departments to enter a building or other premises to conduct an inspection. The Guide also describes the differences between criminal and administrative search warrants.

Date published: October 26, 2022
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