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  1. #1
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    Default Drug & Alcohol Testing

    What are the paid FFs in Boston afraid of ? A drug & alcohol testing program will protect everyone; FFs and citizens. The union leaders want extra pay or other enhancements! Outrageous!


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    Forum Member sfd1992's Avatar
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    Wow, first post and it's a molotov cocktail....

    Go away...Troll.

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    Default Refuse.

    Refuse to take the test. Go as soon as you can to your doctor and have him do a drug and alcohol test on you. Dont let them have control over you. Dont let them say your guilty, put in a greivance ASAP and hire a lawyer.

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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Or you could just take the City's test and not argue about it....That is, if you have nothing to hide!!!!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimboKalin View Post
    What are the paid FFs in Boston afraid of ? A drug & alcohol testing program will protect everyone; FFs and citizens. The union leaders want extra pay or other enhancements! Outrageous!
    Are they afraid? Obviously you read some of the article, but I guess you missed 2 key things. 1) They feel whatever is being proposed is unconstitutional. 2) They don't oppose drug testing, but feel that it is subject to the collective bargaining process (at the local level). This means if management wants something, then they normally have to give the employees something in return.

    What's so outrageous about opposing something you believe to be is unconstitutional or wanting something in return for giving something big like this to your employer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimboKalin View Post
    What are the paid FFs in Boston afraid of ? A drug & alcohol testing program will protect everyone; FFs and citizens. The union leaders want extra pay or other enhancements! Outrageous!
    Hey numbnuts....

    #1 Boston PD and EMS have drug tesng. It was negotiated in their contracts.
    #2. Boston has been without a contract for at least 3 years, maybe 4.

    Mayor Mumbles wants to institute this arbitrarily without negotiations. Funny.. I have yet to hear how he handled the leak of the autopsy results from FF's Cahill and Payne to the media before the families were contacted.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 06-30-2009 at 07:12 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Hey numbnuts....

    #1 Boston PD and EMS have drug tsrting. It was negotiated in their contracts.
    #2. Boston has been without a contract for at least 3 years, maybe 4.

    Mayor Mumbles wants to institute this arbitrarily without negotiations. Funny.. I have yet to hear how he handled the leak of the autopsy results from FF's Cahill and Payne to the media before the families were contacted.
    Not for nothing cap, but it shouldn't have to be negotiated. It's a public safety issue. and not public safety like firefighting, but for the safety of the public, and the safety of each and every firefighter.

    Should the Boston FD be operating without an contract for over 3 years? absolutely not.

    Should the BFD be opposed to drug testing, saying it should be negotiated? Well, every day it isn't done potentially puts the public in greater jeopardy, as well as every FF and apparatus operator in great jeopardy.

    They should accept the drug tests, it is in the best interests of everybody.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite View Post
    Not for nothing cap, but it shouldn't have to be negotiated. It's a public safety issue. and not public safety like firefighting, but for the safety of the public, and the safety of each and every firefighter.

    Should the Boston FD be operating without an contract for over 3 years? absolutely not.

    Should the BFD be opposed to drug testing, saying it should be negotiated? Well, every day it isn't done potentially puts the public in greater jeopardy, as well as every FF and apparatus operator in great jeopardy.

    They should accept the drug tests, it is in the best interests of everybody.
    Holy $hit....I agree with Dr. Parasite! Once again, the only ones who need be afraid of random drug testing are the ones with something to hide!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite View Post
    Not for nothing cap, but it shouldn't have to be negotiated. It's a public safety issue. and not public safety like firefighting, but for the safety of the public, and the safety of each and every firefighter.

    Should the Boston FD be operating without an contract for over 3 years? absolutely not.

    Should the BFD be opposed to drug testing, saying it should be negotiated? Well, every day it isn't done potentially puts the public in greater jeopardy, as well as every FF and apparatus operator in great jeopardy.

    They should accept the drug tests, it is in the best interests of everybody.
    Not to be nitpicky, but unless the number of FFs who ARE actually "high" at work increases, then nobody is actually in "greater jeopardy" than they are right now without the drug testing in place.

    I would disagree that drug testing of public safety personnel doesn't need to be negotiated.

    I am not in a position to say if MA FF Association's assertion that a State mandate would be unconstitutional or not. However, I think that the overall process of drug testing should be negotiated at the local level. I'm not talking about whether or not employees will be drug tested, but the how, why, when of doing so.

    I'm of the position that there needs to be clearly defined parameters for this. It needs to be clearly defined as to when testing will take place - like annually, monthly, a percentage of the EEs each month, following an "incident", a formal accusation, etc. It can't be a situation in which they can just come up to any specific employee at any time and request a sample. It's too easy for this to become a "harassment tool" for management if an employee falls "out of favor".

    It also needs to be clearly defined as to what substances are not allowed. For example, alcohol is a legal substance, but would it's presence automatically constitute a "failed" test, particularly if the sample was taken while the employee was off-duty?

    It needs to be clearly defined as to who gets to see those results or has access to them.

    It needs to be clearly defined as to what happens when a "failed" test is reported. Will the employee be retested to confirm the result? Will the employee be interviewed to determine if there are factors that created a "false positive" result? What disciplinary action can be taken? Will the employee have the opportunity to participate in an employee assistance program before being disciplined or fired? What's the appeal process?

    I agree that drug testing is in everybody's best interests, but it's also in everybody's best interests for the process to be clearly defined upfront to avoid inconsistent handling of such.

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    typical.....
    Last edited by nyckftbl; 06-28-2009 at 11:36 PM.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

  11. #11
    Forum Member nyckftbl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Not to be nitpicky, but unless the number of FFs who ARE actually "high" at work increases, then nobody is actually in "greater jeopardy" than they are right now without the drug testing in place.

    I would disagree that drug testing of public safety personnel doesn't need to be negotiated.

    I am not in a position to say if MA FF Association's assertion that a State mandate would be unconstitutional or not. However, I think that the overall process of drug testing should be negotiated at the local level. I'm not talking about whether or not employees will be drug tested, but the how, why, when of doing so.

    I'm of the position that there needs to be clearly defined parameters for this. It needs to be clearly defined as to when testing will take place - like annually, monthly, a percentage of the EEs each month, following an "incident", a formal accusation, etc. It can't be a situation in which they can just come up to any specific employee at any time and request a sample. It's too easy for this to become a "harassment tool" for management if an employee falls "out of favor".

    It also needs to be clearly defined as to what substances are not allowed. For example, alcohol is a legal substance, but would it's presence automatically constitute a "failed" test, particularly if the sample was taken while the employee was off-duty?

    It needs to be clearly defined as to who gets to see those results or has access to them.

    It needs to be clearly defined as to what happens when a "failed" test is reported. Will the employee be retested to confirm the result? Will the employee be interviewed to determine if there are factors that created a "false positive" result? What disciplinary action can be taken? Will the employee have the opportunity to participate in an employee assistance program before being disciplined or fired? What's the appeal process?

    I agree that drug testing is in everybody's best interests, but it's also in everybody's best interests for the process to be clearly defined upfront to avoid inconsistent handling of such.

    Bingo.....
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

  12. #12
    Forum Member sfd1992's Avatar
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    If they are not currently subject to random testing, it's a change in working conditions and has to be negotiated. Period. If your employer wanted to change your work week from 42 hours to 53, that would be a change in working conditions, and would have to be negotiated. Drug testing is no different, it's just a hotter topic.

    As far as, "If they're clean, they have nothing to worry about", sorry, that's a horse$hit argument. If you really want to go there, then lets suspend the 4th amendment, and do away with that inconvenient "probable cause" thing. That way, the FD can search your POV when it's parked at the firehouse, after all "If you're clean, you got nothing to worry about."

    Mass. brothers, be glad you live in a state where labor has rights, I thank God everyday I do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfd1992 View Post
    As far as, "If they're clean, they have nothing to worry about", sorry, that's a horse$hit argument. If you really want to go there, then lets suspend the 4th amendment, and do away with that inconvenient "probable cause" thing. That way, the FD can search your POV when it's parked at the firehouse, after all "If you're clean, you got nothing to worry about."
    My thoughts exactly. I also agree with the sentiments that it can be used to harass an employee if it can be done at anytime they wish. FF Joe filed a grievance about something, lets drug test him and maybe it'll come back positive some time.


    Personally I find the policy of testing after an injury/death or a damage/injury causing accident is a good balance of the employees rights and the employers. Since an injury or some sort of accident can happen at any time it means a test could happen tomorrow, but since there needs to be an event for the employee to get tested it doesn't turn into some constant threat on the employee's mind.

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    Forum Member Firegod343's Avatar
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    I have a close friend who was recently offered a Chief's position with one condition.... he had to take a drug test.

    So he told the commissioners, "I don't take drugs, you can take my word for it, or you can pay me $500.00 for calling me a liar, and I take the test and prove you wrong."

    4 of the 5 commissioners relented and he got the job.

    When politicians are required to pass mandatory psyche tests, I'll give into peeing in a cup.

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    Firefighters, EMS and cops should be screened for drugs.

    Was randomly tested at my FT ambo gig. Randomly tested at my current FT fire department job.

    I have absolutely no problem with it and never had.

    Sorry, but we are in the public service filed and we lose the right to that privacy when we take the job.

    You fail. You get fired. No second chances. To me, it's that simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    You fail. You get fired. No second chances. To me, it's that simple.
    Oh, I didn't realize drug tests were never wrong.


    You have to at least give the guy a retest.



    Ibuprofen has been well known to cause false positives for THC. Want to dismiss a guy becuase he took Ibuprofen because he has a sore muscle after busting his *** at a fire?

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    Bite me D1ckhea9 you do not surrender your rights for a job...I was just tested and found the experience humiliating ( I came on the job clean 24 years ago and will leave the job clean) If you screw up than you should be tested, but too randomly stress people out just because you can is total BS. Our local screwed the pooch on this one and somebody will take it on the chin because of it.

    For those of you who preach zero tolerance.... I hope all your test are clean I wouldn't want to see a Jesus freak lose there job
    Last edited by Ltmdepas3280; 06-30-2009 at 08:37 AM.
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    Originally Posted by LaFireEducator

    You fail. You get fired. No second chances. To me, it's that simple.
    Originally Posted by nameless
    Oh, I didn't realize drug tests were never wrong.
    You have to at least give the guy a retest.

    Ibuprofen has been well known to cause false positives for THC. Want to dismiss a guy becuase he took Ibuprofen because he has a sore muscle after busting his *** at a fire?
    He would.. it meant the firefighter he would terminate actually did his job instead of being a yellowbellied yardbreather!
    LA is the same guy who would fire someone for a traffic violation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Sorry, but we are in the public service filed and we lose the right to that privacy when we take the job.
    Really? I don't seem to remember giving up my constitutional rights when I took this job, maybe it's different where you live, but here the constitution still exists.

    This means I have the right to fair labor practices, among other things. I realize you have no problem violating Federal labor laws, so save your preaching. Don't you have some bars in firehouses to go defend, again?

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    You fail. You get fired. No second chances. To me, it's that simple.
    That's great. I guess you've never seen guys who've had false positives, or results that were lost and or mixed up.
    You're talking about guys careers here. You're talking about their reputations on the job.

    In a perfect world, that system would work, but this is far from perfect. I have seen guys taken out of firehouses because they were "dirty" on a drug test, only to be reinstated and exonerated after further testing. You know what though? People still look at them funny, guys don't trust them, and look at them with a wary eye.

    Yes, it happens. I understand you don't care about that, mostly because people can't stand a snitch that's also a holier than thou mutt.

    And you know what? When your rig gets detailed out for a random drug screen, it makes you pucker just a bit, because you just never know. I have never smoked marijuana in my life, I have never done any kind of narcotics without a prescription. And yet, when we are sent for the screening, it makes you think, and wonder, because the clinics make mistakes, results get screwed up. It happens, and will continue to happen. And as long as there is a chance that a mistake will happen, I will say that you are wrong, because you are.

    You can't just tarnish a guys career on a witch hunt. Of course though, you have no problem selling guys out and throwing them under the bus.

    That's nothing we don't expect out of you.

  20. #20
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    I have no issue with a retest.

    And yes, there are false positives, but while those retests and investigations are happening, the guy goes home. We can argue paid or unpaid, but he is not on a rig or even pulling light duty in an office until it's confirmed - which in that case he is fired - or cleared.

    Sorry, but if watching a guy lose a job because he brings a drug issue to the firehouse, or letting my vollie chief know that this guy was drinking 5 minutes before the tone makes me an ******, fine. Both men are compromising my safety, and that overrides friendship and brotherhood, because obviously, they don't give a damn about me.

    Funny, I've been tested several times on a random and one post-accident, and never worried.

    This means I have the right to fair labor practices, among other things. I realize you have no problem violating Federal labor laws, so save your preaching. Don't you have some bars in firehouses to go defend, again?

    Ya. Laws that don't allow me to volunteer in my off-hours for a non-profit fire department.

    I guess I should be worried about constitutional rights as doing what I want in my free time has been taken away by the feds.

    Don't worry though, as we are being forced into becoming a civil service fire department I'm sure that will be addressed and will no longer be allowed. Employee protections are such wonderful things, ya know.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 06-30-2009 at 09:50 PM.

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