Below are some laws affecting Firefighters and other First Responders in the State of Alabama. For reference only.
Volunteer firemen or rescue squad members entering burning buildings, etc., and attempting to preserve and protect said buildings, property therein, etc.
When any member of any organized rescue squad or volunteer nonprofit fire department, gratuitously and in good faith, enters any building, house, or structure which is burning or endangered by fire and makes efforts to preserve and protect said property and any other property contained therein or located on the premises thereof, such members shall not be liable for any civil damages for such entering or as result of any acts or omissions in rendering such efforts; nor shall such members be liable for any civil damages in rendering such efforts for their acts or omissions causing injuries to fellow volunteers or to owners of said property; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to civil damages for wanton misconduct.
(Acts 1976, No. 675, p. 925; Acts 1979, No. 79-625, p. 1107.)
Minimum standards for firefighters.
(a) Applicability. The minimum standards provided in this section shall apply to trainees who are to be employed as fire-protection personnel by a public fire fighting agency. No city or fire fighting agency which provides fire protection to the public shall permanently employ any trainee as fire-protection personnel who has not met the requirements of this section. Provided, however, no fire prevention inspector, fire protection engineer, public fire and life safety educator, public safety dispatcher, or person whose duties are solely clerical or secretarial in nature employed as fire-protection personnel by the fire fighting agency of any Class 1 municipality shall be required to meet the minimum physical requirements as a trainee for firefighter as prescribed by the commission.
(b) Employment and qualifications. The trainee shall be certified by a licensed practicing physician as satisfactory by the appointing authority designated as in good health and physically fit for the performance of his duties as a firefighter and shall meet the employment qualifications of the appointing authority.
(1) FIRE-PROTECTION PERSONNEL. Prior to permanent employment, or a period not exceeding 12 months after the date of employment, the trainee shall have met the requirements for certification as prescribed by the commission. Training shall be given by an instructor certified by the Alabama Firefighters’ Personnel Standards and Education Commission and the training may be administered within the department in which the applicant seeks to serve, if the department meets the requirements of the commission for a training center. Upon the completion of training, the commission shall administer a comprehensive written test to each applicant; and each applicant must pass the test as a condition of completion of such training.
(2) VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER. A volunteer firefighter may be certified by the commission as a volunteer firefighter if the volunteer firefighter shall have met the training requirements prescribed by the commission. Provided, the training is conducted by an instructor certified by and in facilities approved by the commission. The training need not be during continuous sessions but may be scheduled at different intervals during a period not exceeding 24 months for a total of 160 hours. This subdivision shall not be construed as to mandate training for volunteer firefighters, except for purposes of certification.
(Acts 1975, No. 863, p. 1701, §7; Acts 1977, No. 700, p. 1238, §1; Acts 1978, No. 778, p. 1140, §1; Acts 1979, No. 79-759, p. 1352, §3; Acts 1980, No. 80-809, p. 1669, §1; Act 2006-594, p. 1623, §2.)
“Fire fighter” and “retired volunteer fire fighter” defined.
(a) As used in this division, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning: “Fire fighter” means a current member or members of, or a retired member or members from, a paid, part-paid or volunteer fire department of a city, town, county or other subdivision of the state or civilian federal fire fighters or of a public corporation organized for the purpose of providing water, water systems, fire protection services or fire protection facilities in the state; and such words shall include the chief, assistant chief, wardens, engineers, captains, firemen and all other officers and employees of such departments who actually engage in fire fighting or in rendering first aid in case of drowning or asphyxiation at the scene of action.
(b) As used in this division, the term “retired volunteer fire fighter” means someone that has retired from performing the required duties of a fire fighter on a voluntary basis at a certified volunteer fire department, wherein, those duties were performed for at least 10 years and said person has attained the age of 55 years old.
(Acts 1982, No. 82-550, p. 909, §1; Acts 1989, No. 89-917, p. 1815, §1; Acts 1991, No. 91-579, p. 1066, §1.)
Termination for loss of work during emergency response prohibited.
(a) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) EMERGENCY. Going to, attending to, or coming from any of the following:
a. A fire call.
b. A hazardous or toxic materials spill and cleanup.
c. Any other situation to which a volunteer fire department has been dispatched.
d. An actual medical emergency to prevent the imminent loss of life.
(2) EMPLOYER. Any individual, partnership, association, corporation, business trust, or any person or group of persons acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to any employee.
(3) VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY WORKER. An individual who does not receive monetary compensation for his or her service as a volunteer firefighter, emergency medical technician, rescue squad member, volunteer deputy, or a ham radio operator conducting storm spotter operations for an emergency management association.
(b) No employer may terminate an employee who is a member of a volunteer fire department and who, in the line of emergency duty as a volunteer firefighter, responds to an emergency call prior to the time the employee is due to report to work and which emergency results in a loss of time from employment. Any time lost from employment as provided in this section may be charged against the regular compensation of the employee. Prior to missing work, the employee shall attempt to contact his or her employer to notify the employer that the employee has been dispatched to an emergency. At the request of the employer, an employee losing time as provided herein shall supply the employer with a statement from the chief of the volunteer fire department stating that the employee responded to an emergency call and the time thereof.
(c) No employer may terminate an employee who is a member of an emergency medical service and who, in the line of emergency duty as an emergency medical service member, responds to an emergency call prior to the time the employee is due to report to work and which emergency results in a loss of time from employment. Any time lost from employment as provided in this section may be charged against the regular compensation of the employee. At the request of the employer, an employee losing time as provided herein shall supply the employer with a statement from the fire department or emergency medical services stating that the employee responded to an emergency call and the time thereof.
(d) Any employer who willfully and knowingly violates this section shall be required to reinstate the employee to the employee’s former position and shall be required to pay such employee all lost wages and benefits for the period between termination and reinstatement.
(e) Any action to enforce this section shall be commenced within a period of one year after the date of violation and such action shall be commenced in the circuit court of the county in which the place of employment is located.
(f) Nothing in this section shall prohibit an employer from terminating an employee covered in this section for lawful reasons other than responding to an emergency call that results in loss of time from employment.
(Act 2006-428, p. 1058, §§1, 2.)