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    Default Underage Drinking

    How can a past history of underage drinking affect you landing a job? Is it a question asked in polygraph tests? How does it compare in terms of seriousness to something like marijuana usage or speeding tickets? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronYork View Post
    How can a past history of underage drinking affect you landing a job? Is it a question asked in polygraph tests? How does it compare in terms of seriousness to something like marijuana usage or speeding tickets? Thanks.
    The bottom line in these kinds of issues is that no one is perfect...everyone has a past. What departments are looking for is 1) whether you admit to it (honesty) and 2) what you learned from it and how it's made you who you are today.

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    Wink

    For the most part. Nobody cares what you did when you were underage. Just be honest and you will be fine. If High School boozing is your biggest skeleton your golden. Just relax.
    If they didnt hire anyone who tried pot, got drunk or got a speeding ticket as a kid. There would be a massive shortage of Firemen.
    I know I wouldnt have got on.

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    Let me explain something to you...

    I just took a polygraph this past Thursday for a department and there were a few things that the examiner explained to me.

    One thing is that nobody that walks in the door is perfect.

    He simply said, keep a clear mind and answer everything honestly. Things like drinking when you were underage is a very small thing compared to lets say...stealing from an employer...or committing arson...or have smoked or have done snuff in less than 12 months when you know that you signed a sworn affidavit for the heart and lung insurance that covers you and that would be fraudulant lying about it. So little things like drinking underage, just blow it off and tell the truth.

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    Default honesty is the best policy

    chances are most ppl dont get hired on their first go round....you dont wanna mess urself up trying to remember wat u left out on ur first backgrnd packet, or wat not, when u retest.

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    I would not be so quick to discount underage drinking. You do not provide enough information to make a dtermination about YOUR situation.

    Were you cited for it? Perhaps multiple times??

    The fire service as a whole has an issue with alcohol consumption. Many departments are reluctant to hire someone who has already demonstrated they cannot control themselves.

    Nothing is off limits to a background investigator and polygraph exam. This includes things that occured before you were 18.

    If you are still drinking in excess, this will surface during your background examination. If it is still a problem, depending on the department, it may be an issue.
    As has been pointed out in many previous posts, each department has it's own idea of what constitutes a disqualification. The background investigator who completes the investigation and makes a recomendation to the fire chief on each candidate. The fire chief makes the final determination.

    As I mentioned previously, firefighters already drink more than the average citizen. Some fire chiefs will be reluctant to hire someone who, beginning at a young age, already has a drinking problem.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Last edited by BCLepore; 11-10-2008 at 09:40 AM.
    Paul Lepore
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    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    [QUOTE=BCLepore;1004957]I would not be so quick to discount underage drinking. You do not provide enough information to make a dtermination about YOUR situation.

    Were you cited for it? Perhaps multiple times??

    Here's my specific situation. I'm 19 and I've been sober for a year. When I did drink it was always casual and my goal was never to get drunk like most guys my age. I've never been cited and I'm strongly against drunk driving, so when I did drink I always got rid of my keys. Anytime I did get drunk my personality never took a turn for the worse, I never got violent or anything like that. Id say my past history with alcohol is not something shocking or excessive at all. But it is still illegal which is what bothers me. I know no ones perfect and Id like to think my past with alcohol isn't something that bad compared to most. So I guess other than what happens in terms of the hiring process my next question would be, If I had a drink every now and then, but never to excess, will that harm me in the future? Or should I just keep up my sobriety?

    Thanks

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    Lightbulb Just be honest

    Thatís a good question and the only record I had when I was hired as a full time firefighter in 02 was an underage citation from 5 years prior. I was a little worried about it but it turned out not to be an issue.

    I told the FD employment investigator about it and he asked if I thought I had a drinking problem. I said no, and that was the end of it.

    Turns out most of my department friends my same age have had the same citation when they were younger and it did not affect their hire-ability either.
    Now, stay away from any DWIís, these seem to be FD employment killers and I see people get passed up all the time with that on their recorded.

    As long as your only offence is an underage drinking and you are clean besides, I would not worry about it.

    Good Luck

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    BCLepore did explain things a little more clearly and I have to agree with that. I do remember being asked about drinking problems, drug and tobacco abuse. So if you have those issues, yes that could be a problem.

    Problems with the Law with those things especially...other than that, if you drank a little I would not worry too much, just divulge the information ahead of time and go from there.

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    So if you really want to be a firefighter, know underage drinking could cause you a problem and are still asking if an occassion drink would be OK?

    Where is can really play out is in the psych evaluation where up to 40% of candidates fail. With underage drinking, drugs and other problems in your past the doc will ask you some difficult questions that could take the wheels off your wagon.

    Those in the hiring process have heard all the stories. What are you going to say that could keep you in the hiring process? How about other drugs?

    The application and background packet will ask you in several different ways, ďHave you everĒ. Computers donít forget. If you donít put it down they find it your immediately eliminated from the hiring process.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

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    A short overview on drinking from me.

    Your past- It is what it is. You canít change what you have done. Itís been said before in here, time is on your side. The longer its behind you, the more you can continue to build a positive platform in your life and career. Be honest and direct when talking to a BGI over the issue. Your history is viewed differently be each BGI and department.

    The present- Me, I admit, I am not a big drinker. It just isnít my thing. Not because I am a "Goody Two Shoes" or "pu$$y", itís just something I enjoy once in a while. But, some people take this stance way over board and look down on me for it. I have even lost a good friend because I donít booze it up excessive like he and his family. No lost there, I stand by who I am.

    Now- Here is the important deal. Being a professional in the fire service, YOU and I have way too much to lose over a DUI or drinking problem. I have seen very good people make poor decisions when it comes to alcohol consumption and drinking and driving. These are people making well over 100k a year, get popped and now are in a world of hurt that will sting for the atleast the next 7+ years.

    Please consider the fines and time involved alone. But the biggest thing you canít fix after a DUI is your reputation. You got that tag on you everywhere you go. Oh yeah, time moves on, but the mark doesnít go away. We are such a competitive bunch, that people will remember so they can just get that one up on you.

    And one last thing, if you consume alcohol, please do not advertise it. There are young, professional FFs that post pictures of themselves getting hammered and partying on the internet. (MySpace, etc) Sure, you donít see the department's name, but people arenít stupid and know whats up and whose who.

    Drinking is like everything else in life- Do it in moderation. Party, but keep it in check and donít blow years of hard work over a DUI. It just plain isnít worth it.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-10-2008 at 03:49 PM.

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    I appreciate everyone's responses to this thread. This is something that has been worrying me for a while. I hate getting drunk like CALFFBOU said its just not my thing. I guess the main reason I'm asking is I'm pursuing bar tending as a side job next to firefighting and I've been mixing drinks (pouring them out) practicing and things like that. The only people I really trust drinking with are the guys that were on my shift so I try to stay really smart about what type of crowd I associate myself with. I just don't want me taking a drink every now and then to kill my career. But as with anything, when in doubt err on the side that benefits your patient or yourself so if this is potentially a career killer for me ill just keep up being sober until I'm 21. Its just gonna suck for a while when I'm with the guys at birthday parties and st patties day etc etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    I would not be so quick to discount underage drinking. You do not provide enough information to make a dtermination about YOUR situation.

    Were you cited for it? Perhaps multiple times??

    The fire service as a whole has an issue with alcohol consumption. Many departments are reluctant to hire someone who has already demonstrated they cannot control themselves.

    Nothing is off limits to a background investigator and polygraph exam. This includes things that occured before you were 18.

    If you are still drinking in excess, this will surface during your background examination. If it is still a problem, depending on the department, it may be an issue.
    As has been pointed out in many previous posts, each department has it's own idea of what constitutes a disqualification. The background investigator who completes the investigation and makes a recomendation to the fire chief on each candidate. The fire chief makes the final determination.

    As I mentioned previously, firefighters already drink more than the average citizen. Some fire chiefs will be reluctant to hire someone who, beginning at a young age, already has a drinking problem.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    oh BC i was gone for such a long time but I see you are still spreading the same bs. Maybe you need a few drinks to loosen up a little.








































    .
    Last edited by kingofdahill; 11-10-2008 at 05:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronYork View Post
    I guess the main reason I'm asking is I'm pursuing bar tending as a side job next to firefighting and I've been mixing drinks (pouring them out) practicing and things like that. .
    Bar tending you say. I've talked to too many candidates who were bar tenders that didn't make the cut. One was fired for giving his friends a round of free drinks. Yep, that came up in the poly. Others listed bad things that didn't think would happen from behind the bar. Our department wouldn't allow their firefighters to be a bar tender off duty. Your choice.

    How about getting your EMT and get some savvy street time on the box? You will probably make a few calls to the local bars.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronYork View Post
    I appreciate everyone's responses to this thread. This is something that has been worrying me for a while. I hate getting drunk like CALFFBOU said its just not my thing. I guess the main reason I'm asking is I'm pursuing bar tending as a side job next to firefighting...

    First- I never said "I hate getting drunk", I just clearified that I do drink once in awhile, but dont get drunk so I am always in control and wont damage my career.

    Second- Capt. Bob nailed it- Get on an ambulance job and get some street time before or during your FF job.

    Next- I would NOT work in a bar. It time to grow up and move on to a higher level of adulthood. Working at a bars exposes you to the elements you do not want to be attached to. Consider that the Police are called to bar constantly for fights, DV and other negative elements you do not need to be around. Can you imagine getting punched in the face a bar fight and having an oral interview later on that week? How are you going to spin a black eye or knocked out tooth at the one time oral interview shot at your dream department? Right or wrong, you're not going to look good.

    Next- CB's Bartender free round drink story is true, I know the guy.

    Lastly- Whats up with the "BS" shot at BCP? Like him or not, lets please remain professional in here.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-11-2008 at 11:24 AM.

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    When I said I'm doing bar tending I meant from an ownership point of view. My brother isn't well off financially and its his dream to own a family bar so I was just gonna help him establish the place and he would run it. I have no interest in operating a bar personally but he would just need the assistance for a while so thats why I'm doing it. Sorry I didn't clarify that. Im not planning on starting that until well after I'm with a department anyways. But thats a different story all together and you guys did give me a different viewpoint on it maybe my mind will change once I run those bar calls.

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    Default Stay away

    Kingofdahill.....maybe you should stay away longer. There is no need for your insults in here. People are asking for answers and you throw mud. If you have nothing constructive to say...then stay away.
    Respectfully,
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    They will do it
    Last edited by harrynuts; 11-08-2013 at 12:19 AM.

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    Harry,
    First of all, your information is completely inaccurate. Candidates are DQ'd from their polygraph results every day. If an agency chooses to adopt it as a part of their hiring process, they have every right to use it as a screening tool.

    Here's the thing to remember:
    The background investigator who completes the investigation and makes a recomendation to the fire chief on each candidate. The fire chief makes the final determination.

    If the fire chief believes that the candidate has lied or withheld information, he will be disqualified.
    Last edited by BCLepore; 11-16-2008 at 10:58 PM.
    Paul Lepore
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    Harry,
    First of all, your information is completely inaccurate. Candidate are DQ'd from their polygraph results every day. If an agency chooses to adopt it as a part of their hiring process, they have every right to use it as a screening tool.

    Here's the thing to remember:
    The background investigator who completes the investigation and makes a recomendation to the fire chief on each candidate. The fire chief makes the final determination.

    If the fire chief believes that the candidate has lied or withheld information, he will be disqualified.

    From what I know, have seen and experienced, the above information is correct.

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    I see what you're saying
    Last edited by harrynuts; 11-08-2013 at 12:18 AM.

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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by harrynuts View Post

    It does not apply to any public employer.
    There is the reason why they CAN. Fire Departments of City and County jurisdictions are classified as public as far I know.

    Remember, we provide a service to citizens, and to protect them and their property.

    While I am not an advocate of polygraphs as I believe they are severely flawed, I deal with it and tell the truth. I have taken two and so far I am 2 for 2 on passing.

    Are you worried about passing one? Because to take the time to research this makes me wonder if you have something you are afraid to divulge to them. Dude, just go in and be HONEST! sheesh.

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    Fire Departments, last time I checked, were a public employer. Also, when I went through my hiring process, it was stated that because the position of Firefighter is considered safety sensitive, that a polygraph test was legal and warranted.

    The polygraph test isn't as bad as you think. As long as you've told the complete truth in your application and prior interviews, you should feel confident going into a polygraph test.

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