A Law Firm that Stands Up for Fire Safety Professionals
Fire safety professionals provide vitally important protection to Texas citizens. It is no wonder the Texas Commission on Fire Protection takes allegations of misconduct seriously, imposing serious consequences when fire professionals face disciplinary action.
Fire professionals who face allegations of misconduct have rights during the disciplinary process. The fire protection license defense attorneys at Bertolino LLP understand what is at stake and can help you protect your license and your career. Contact our office for a confidential case review today.
Common Allegations Made Against Fire Professionals
Accusations and complaints against fire professionals are far more common than you might think. Some complaints may indeed be valid, but others are unfounded. Some of the more common types of allegations and complaints against fire professionals to the Texas Commission on Fire Protection include:
- Internal departmental issues
- Overtime scandals
- Sexual misconduct
- Sick leave abuse scandals
- Drinking on duty scandals
- Pension scandals
- Substance abuse on the job
- Negligence or gross incompetence
While fire professionals are often held in the highest regard, complaints made against them can have an impact not only on the individual in question but on their department as well. This is particularly true in cases of sexual misconduct, fraud, or negligence.
The Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) allows anyone to make complaints or allegations as needed. Individuals can submit complaints anonymously by contacting the TCFP to file complaints without including their identity. However, under the Texas Public Information Act, complainants’ names may become public as needed.
How Fire Professional’s Lives Could Be Affected by Complaints
When complaints or allegations of violations are made against fire professionals, their lives can be affected in a number of ways. If the Texas Commission on Fire Protection finds the complaint against you is valid, they may attempt to reach a settlement. The terms of the settlement could include:
- Monetary fines or sanctions – Fines may be imposed to cover hearing costs and victim damages
- A formal reprimand – Depending on the details of your case, the commission may elect to issue a verbal or written reprimand.
- A probationary period – The commission has the authority to place you on probation to ensure you are meeting the requirements needed to keep your fire professional’s license active.
- Restrictions for continued licensing, including completion of community service or completion of continuing education requirements – You may be required to follow specific licensing restrictions in order to retain possession of your fire professionals license; this might include completing continuing education courses or completing community service hours as required.
- Restriction of your fire professionals license to practice – If your license is restricted, you may only be allowed to perform certain tasks or functions.
- Suspension or revocation of your fire professionals license – The commissioner has the authority to suspend or revoke your license for a specific amount of time or indefinitely, with or without the opportunity to reinstate your license.
- Supervised license approval by another fire professional – You may be allowed to retain possession of your fire professional’s license as long as you were supervised by another fire professional of greater experience.
Alternatively, if the commission finds the complaint invalid, the proposed settlement may suggest the complaint against you be dismissed entirely.
What Is the Texas Commission on Fire Protection?
The Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) is a government agency responsible for the regulation and oversight of fire departments and firefighting standards across the state of Texas. The TCFP is responsible for a number of tasks and services, including The publication of job postings, manuals, and injury reports. Texas Commission on Fire Protection commission members are appointed by the Texas state governor and will acquire their title for a period of six years.
Individuals filing complaints with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection will need to include specific information as part of the allegations of violations in question. Some of the information complainants must include in their complaints to the TCFP include:
- The complainant’s name
- The complainant’s email address
- The complainant’s phone number
- The complainant’s address
- The address where the incident or event occurred
- The date on which the incident or event occurred
- The nature of the complaint as described in the TCFP drop-down menu
- The name of the individual a complaint is being made against
- The individual’s pin number, if known
- The name of the entity that complaint is against if it is a TCFP-regulated agency
- The entity’s FDID number, if known
- A description of the complaint, including who is involved, what happened, when, where, and why The individual is making the complaint
Once the TCFP has received a complaint, they will need to begin a review of the complaint to determine its validity and, potentially, move forward with an investigation.
Understanding the TCFP Disciplinary Investigation Process
After the Texas Commission on Fire Protection has received a complaint, if they deem it valid, they will notify you that a disciplinary investigation has been launched. You have the right to legal representation when an investigation has been opened up against you.
Your attorney will carefully examine the details of your case to determine how to best approach your fire professionals license defense. This might include submitting a response to the complaint, attending a preliminary conference where you can negotiate a resolution to the complaint and question, or even having a complaint against you recommended for closure.
Only after conducting a thorough investigation into the allegations made against you will the Commission determine whether it is appropriate to impose sanctions or penalties at this time. Your fire professional license defense attorney will help you ensure your rights are protected and exercised during this time.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
You might be wondering why you need help from a fire professional license defense attorney if the allegations or complaints against you are unfounded. You may be wondering why you need an attorney to help you protect your license.
The truth is, having a powerful legal advocate on your side could prove invaluable as you work to clear your reputation and protect your future. Some of the top reasons you need a license defense attorney on your side include:
- Help hiring legal experts to defend the allegations made against you since fire professional licenses are legal issues being agreements with the state.
- An advocate on your side when dealing with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection who is not on your side but instead is focused on protecting the best interests of the public, which may or may not be in your favor.
- When a complaint has been made against you, you are already at a disadvantage, as the TCFP has years of experience handling complaints and disciplinary actions against fire professionals.
When you are going up against complaints made to the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, and your fire professionals license is on the line, it has never been more important to clear your name. Overcome the allegations against you when you contact a fire professional’s license defense attorney at Bertolino LLP for help.
Get Help with Your Texas Commission on Fire Protection Defense Today
Fire protection professionals have rights, and we can help. The process of defending your license can take months, and all the while, your career hangs in the balance. A license defense attorney can help you protect your license and your career. The earlier you involve the fire professionals license defense attorneys at Bertolino LLP, the sooner we can get to work defending you and your license. And the more likely your complaint will be dismissed or resolved quickly, with minimal disruption to your career. If your fire protection license is under attack, call today to schedule a case evaluation.