Virginia Firefighter Bill of Rights
§ 2.1-116.9:1. Definitions.
As used in this chapter unless the context requires a different meaning:
“Emergency medical technician” means any person who is employed solely within the fire department or public safety department of an employing agency as a full-time emergency medical technician whose primary responsibility is the provision of emergency care to the sick and injured, using either basic or advanced techniques. Emergency medical technicians may also provide fire protection services and assist in the enforcement of the fire prevention code.
“Employing agency” means any municipality of the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, including authorities and special districts, which employs firefighters and emergency medical technicians.
“Firefighter” means any person who is employed solely within the fire department or public safety department of an employing agency as a full-time firefighter whose primary responsibility is the prevention and extinguishment of fires, the protection of life and property, and the enforcement of local and state fire prevention codes and laws pertaining to the prevention and control of fires.
“Interrogation” means any questioning of a formal nature as used in Chapter 10.1, Law-Enforcement Officer’s Procedural Guarantees, § 2.1-116.2, that could lead to dismissal, demotion, or suspension for punitive reasons of a firefighter or emergency medical technician.
§ 2.1-116.9:2. Conduct of interrogation.
The following provisions of this section shall apply whenever a firefighter or emergency medical technician is subjected to an interrogation which could lead to dismissal, demotion or suspension for punitive reasons:
1. The interrogation shall take place at the facility where the investigating officer is assigned, or at the facility which has jurisdiction over the place where the incident under investigation allegedly occurred, as designated by the investigating officer.
2. No firefighter or emergency medical technician shall be subjected to interrogation without first receiving written notice of sufficient detail of the investigation in order to reasonably apprise the firefighter or emergency medical technician of the nature of the investigation.
3. All interrogations shall be conducted at a reasonable time of day, preferably when the firefighter or emergency medical technician is on duty, unless the importance of the interrogation or investigation is of such a nature that immediate action is required.
4. The firefighter or emergency medical technician under investigation shall be informed of the name, rank, and unit or command of the officer in charge of the investigation, the interrogators, and all persons present during any interrogation.
5. Interrogation sessions shall be of reasonable duration and the firefighter or emergency medical technician shall be permitted reasonable periods for rest and personal necessities.
6. The firefighter or emergency medical technician being interrogated shall not be subjected to offensive language or offered any incentive as an inducement to answer any questions.
7. If a recording of any interrogation is made, and if a transcript of such interrogation is made, the firefighter or emergency medical technician under investigation shall be entitled to a copy without charge. Such record may be electronically recorded.
8. No firefighter or emergency medical technician shall be discharged, disciplined, demoted, denied promotion or seniority, or otherwise disciplined or discriminated against in regard to his employment, or be threatened with any such treatment as retaliation for or by reason solely of his exercise of any of the rights granted or protected by this chapter.