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    Default Firefighters more likely to use drugs?

    http://kdka.com/video/?id=59494@kdka.dayport.com

    Saw this on the local news tonight.

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    That's one man's opinion about a department in his community...factual studies are what counts.
    ‎"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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    Not arguing with you on that one. The last thing I would want to do is start accusing fellow bothers that they're doing drugs. Just thought it was a interesting tread in that area.

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    This is just another city using histronics to get random testing for the FD. Don't punsh those who break the rules...punish all others who have given no reason to suspect they are in violation of the law....whats next VD checks by the Chief when he makes his rounds?

    Big brother is on his way.

    There are a number of falacies with his suggestion that firemen are worse than cops or any segment of the population for that matter.

    The union should demand all city employees including the Mayor and city council be randomly tested...see where that discussion would go.

    FTM-PTB

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    Was randomly tested at my FT ambulance gig.

    Randomly tested at my current FT fire department?

    What the hell is the issue? I am the employee. They are management. I do what they say.

    You get caught. You get fired. No second chances. Really it's that simple.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 06-30-2009 at 08:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    What the hell is the issue? I am the employee. They are management. I do what they say.

    You get caught. You get fired. No second chances. Really it's that simple.

    You are as naive as they come. You really need to get out more.

    We have random drug testing, and it is a joke. The results get screwed up all of the time. The actual policy for it is violated by management almost every time a random test is administered, so it really isn't that simple.

    Never mind the fact that management is not your friend, and engages in unfair labor practices all of the time. It's a daily occurrence in cities all over this country every single day.

    It is amazing how little actual real world experience you have. No real surprise, though, at least it shouldn't be. You are the one who advocates breaking Federal labor laws by volunteering for your employer.
    Last edited by jasper45; 06-30-2009 at 11:43 AM. Reason: spelling error

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    In times like this I am reminded of the immortal Hawkeye Pierce when he stated "We are not saints in surgical garb..." We are nothing more than mere mortals, we are people, as such, we will have those of all walks of life.

    Personally, I feel random drug testing should be done for all public employees. That is my dime you are on. A random drug test is no big deal. I did them in the military and I did them in private industry. Many places require a drug test fro all new hires. There is no punishment for the clean and really, how hard is to pee in a cup.

    From the view of the taxpayer, I want to make sure the people I pay are clean.
    From the view of the fire fighter, I want to know the guy next to me is clean.

    As we all know, there is no room for drugs and alcohol in the public service sector.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    You are as naive is they come. You really need to get out more.

    We have random drug testing, and it is a joke. The results get screwed up all of the time. The actual policy for it is violated by management almost every time a random test is administered, so it really isn't that simple.

    Never mind the fact that management is not your friend, and engages in unfair labor practices all of the time. It's a daily occurrence in cities all over this country every single day.

    It is amazing how little you actual experience you have. No real surprise, though, at least it shouldn't be. You are the one who advocates breaking Federal labor laws by volunteering for your employer.
    Perhaps someone needs some training on doing a drug test. My last place of employment hired the local hospital to do the test. They sent in a specialist who collected the sample, took them to the lab, had them analyzed and the results returned to the employer. I was glad they were protecting the employees by identifying workers who could be high. It was a dangerous work environment and you had to trust your fellow workers to do the right thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Perhaps someone needs some training on doing a drug test. My last place of employment hired the local hospital to do the test. They sent in a specialist who collected the sample, took them to the lab, had them analyzed and the results returned to the employer. I was glad they were protecting the employees by identifying workers who could be high. It was a dangerous work environment and you had to trust your fellow workers to do the right thing.
    Random testing doesn't demonstrate any level of "trust" in my view.

    If pols are so quick to randomly test employees they should be subjected to the procedures themselves...from the Mayor on down.

    FTM-PTB

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    Not only should there be random drug testing, but any public employee violating any law should be terminated, period. Yes, brothers, that includes going 52 mph in a 50 mph zone. Hey, it's the law and there should be NO excuses and NO exceptions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED View Post
    Random testing doesn't demonstrate any level of "trust" in my view.

    If pols are so quick to randomly test employees they should be subjected to the procedures themselves...from the Mayor on down.

    FTM-PTB
    In my experience, they have always caught those using. Obviously, there needs to be safeguards and appeals processes. Look at the Jeremy Mayfield Fiasco.

    And I agree, the mayor and all his cronies need to be tested as well. Although, in D.C. they don't care. The fact that Marion Barry was reelected says a lot about that town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    You are the one who advocates breaking Federal labor laws by volunteering for your employer.
    Can you post a link to that? Im not doubting you. I just didn't know if you had a quick link, or if I would need to search for it. Thanks.
    FF/Paramedic

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNFF319 View Post
    Can you post a link to that? Im not doubting you. I just didn't know if you had a quick link, or if I would need to search for it. Thanks.
    I assume you meant a link to LaEducator advocating volunteering for your employer...


    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    It is a common practice in this area for members of a combo department to respond off duty as a volunteer.

    It has been done for years.

    It is an expecation of this department that as a fulltime member you will respond when vaialble off duty to significant incidents and EMS calls in your area.

    Nothing to squirm out of.

    I have no problem doing it. None of the other FT members have a problem doing it and they all benefit from it when the other fulltimers respond when they are off. I enjoy responding as a volunteer to assist the other fulltimers and volunteers when we have a major incident.

    I don't feel the government should be able to tell me I can't respond and assist my community when I am not drawing a paycheck. I feel that is MY choice.

    We have had this discussion before.
    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...80#post1064480
    Last edited by jasper45; 06-30-2009 at 11:59 AM.

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    Here, random drug testing is not allowed under Federal law. Any employer, be it govt. private industry or any other employer can make it a pre hire policy that anyone applying must take a drug test as well as full medical pre hire. They can request a drug test for all personnel involved in an accident, for example on a construction site.
    I'm very surprised by this video, I can't even remember the last time someone was busted or was found involved in illegal drugs. There have been a few instances of intervention in prescription drug dependency but that was taken care of by the city under rehabilitation and as far as I know, nobody lost their job. There have been a few under impaired driving where people have lost their jobs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post

    As we all know, there is no room for drugs and alcohol in the public service sector.
    Of course you are right. Although it contradicts your statements in another topic. You have strongly advocated the rights of volunteer fire companies to have bars in their firehouses.

    Please don't get silly here and try to differentiate between private and municipal fire departments. They are BOTH public service agencies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pvfd27 View Post
    Not only should there be random drug testing, but any public employee violating any law should be terminated, period. Yes, brothers, that includes going 52 mph in a 50 mph zone. Hey, it's the law and there should be NO excuses and NO exceptions.
    You are kidding right!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pvfd27 View Post
    Not only should there be random drug testing, but any public employee violating any law should be terminated, period. Yes, brothers, that includes going 52 mph in a 50 mph zone. Hey, it's the law and there should be NO excuses and NO exceptions.

    Let he or she who without sin cast the first stone... mutt.
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Let he or she who without sin cast the first stone... mutt.
    I got your mutt... putz.

    Yup, it was a joke. Expecting Puritan values on anyone because they wear a badge or a firehelmet?? Come on people!!

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    sorry...misread someone's post and deleted my soap box speech.

    Carry on!
    Jason Knecht
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    ok, let me get this straight.

    There are folks on this thread who are against random drug testing, because it's an infringement of their constitutional rights, but by not testing it may allow firefighters who are working impaired by drugs to continue working impaired by drugs, right?

    Yet those same people are some of the same people arguing against a bar in the volunteer firehouse because a member may have a beer, then go out and operate, impaired, at a fire. Right?

    There seems to be some contradiction here.

    Sorry, this is a public safety job. There is no re-negotiation of contracts and no carrots need to be offered by management to make this happen. This is, IMO, the right of the employer (ANY employer) to check for drugs. IMo this can and should be done at any time.

    No we are not perfect. This is not a speeding offense or a shoplifting offense. This is a a major safety issue. In my current department, if you are a paid or volunteer and you get a DWI, you are gone, period. Failing a drug test should be no different. No second chance. No rehab then you come back.

    And, before you start crying hypocrite, I have no issues with random drug testing with volunteer firefighters. Doesn't matter who they are .. if they use .. there is a chance they will be hepped up on a scene .. as a volunteer or a career firefighter.

    Guess what ... I have turned in vollie members who I thought were buzzed at a scene. And I have had chiefs who called the cops for a breath test when they thought the same. If they failed, they were gone. On the spot. It should be that simple.

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    Posted by LA"FireEducator"
    Guess what ... I have turned in vollie members who I thought were buzzed at a scene. And I have had chiefs who called the cops for a breath test when they thought the same. If they failed, they were gone. On the spot. It should be that simple.
    I hope you had the balls to apologize face to face if you were wrong.. somehow, I doubt that would ever happen...

    How about this... you make the accusation... you are found to be wrong.. you get suspended/terminated on the spot.

    Fair deal?
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Gonzo ...

    When I am with the guy ... he's drinking beers and I'm drinking cokes .... it's sorta tough to be wrong.

    Or when he simply smells of booze and several people notice it but nobdy has the balls to tell the chief ... because that would be "ratting him out".

    Certain things are safety issues to the group and override friendships, brotherhood or comrade .... and drinking and responding is on of them.

    Especially if it's happened before and they have been warned that the next time ... the gig is up.

    So I take it you disagree with automatic termination -paid or vollie - for drug or alcohol on the job or on a response? Do you beleive in giving the a****e that risked your life by being impaired a break or second chance?
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 06-30-2009 at 08:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post



    So I take it you disagree with automatic termination -paid or vollie - for drug or alcohol on the job or on a response? Do you beleive in giving the a****e that risked your life by being impaired a break or second chance?
    I have had exactly "1" incident where a firtfighter under my command made a poor decision. I was a Lieutenant at the time, and the member came into work for the night tour intoxicated (he had walked up the road from the pub/restaurant that he was at). I called the Deputy at HQ and told him that I was placing the firefighter out sick for the tour and gave him a ride home.

    The next day, he called me at home and asked to see me. I agreed to meet him at his house.

    He apologized for making a poor descion and thanked me for not turning him in. I told him that it wasn't going to happen again... ever.

    He was a 25+ year firefighter, the son of a long retired and deceased fire officer and a hell of a nice guy, a good jake who taught me a lot about aerial ladder operations. I was a "green behind the ears LT" with 9 years total on the job at the time.

    Unlike you, LA, I wasn't going to terminate his career and his hard earned pension over a poor choice.

    I never had a problem with him again. He retired from the FD on a medical condition and passed away from cancer 2 years ago.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 06-30-2009 at 10:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Posted by LA"FireEducator"


    I hope you had the balls to apologize face to face if you were wrong.. somehow, I doubt that would ever happen...

    How about this... you make the accusation... you are found to be wrong.. you get suspended/terminated on the spot.

    Fair deal?
    I think a 30 day suspension, counseling, and rehab for the first offense. Second offense - 90 days
    Third offense - out the door

    When you work impaired, either with (drugs or alcohol) you are a risk. And you put others at risk. There is an acceptable level where there is no risk, where that is varies form person to person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Posted by LA"FireEducator"


    I hope you had the balls to apologize face to face if you were wrong.. somehow, I doubt that would ever happen...

    How about this... you make the accusation... you are found to be wrong.. you get suspended/terminated on the spot.

    Fair deal?
    Still waiting for an answer, Bobby....
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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