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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    "Why did you guys leave Jim and Fred back at the station? Oh, they had too many beers after drill?"

    Yeah whatever. You clowns are a disgrace to the fire service.
    Without going too far into detail, my volunteer establishment had a similar issue to the above. An entire crew was drinking in the firehouse. The rig never got out and the chief had to investigate the alarm on his own.

    Mind you, the department supplied the alcohol. And the members were drinking as they were permitted to by department policy.
    Last edited by BrooklynBravest; 12-07-2013 at 05:38 PM.

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    Using drinking at my union meeting, in its own hall, not on city property to justify drinking at your volunteer station.
    If that wasn't just as pathetic as it is sad, it may actually be comical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    But it is a professional organization that is related to the fire department. How is the liability to a labor organization any different than the liability to a volunteer fire department.
    This point was clarified earlier. The union is liable, not the governmental entity that funds the FD with tax dollars.
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    So its drill night and Bob and Fred decided to pop the top on a cold one. A short time later the tones goes off for a structure fire and everyone but Bob and Fred hop on the trucks and out the door they go. Bob and Fred watch the trucks leave as Mary slides to a stop in front of the station, hops out and yells the her son Billy had fallen in a camp fire, got burned really bad, and is in the back seat of the car. What are Bob and Fred going to do?

    Why would anyone in their right mind even consider having booze in a fire station knowing that this could be a real possibility?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    Using drinking at my union meeting, in its own hall, not on city property to justify drinking at your volunteer station.
    If that wasn't just as pathetic as it is sad, it may actually be comical.
    Who said anything about using the union hall as a justification to drink in a firehouse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    This point was clarified earlier. The union is liable, not the governmental entity that funds the FD with tax dollars.
    Exactly the liability to the union is just as great as the liability to the volunteer department. So why should the union take on the liability? Why should the union show support to drinking ( by buying and serving it). When everone knows good and well that a union brother has to drive home after the meeting.

    IMO it is not good bussiness for any professional organization whether it be a volunteer fire department or a union local to serve alcohol. The reason minus the response aspect are all the same. The public preception liability etc.

    Once again how ironic is it a union brother can drink a union bought beer at a meeting drive home and get in an accident. He is then charged with a DUI and the paper reads firefighter gets DUI leaving union meeting. In essence he was given a beer that cost him his job by an organization whose soul purpose is to protect his safety and well being on the job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    The more I read about what is accepted by some of these VFD's the happier I am to live in a city that is served 100% by professionals.

    LEO's never have these types of issues within their ranks. I cannot understand why the FDs (Pro or Vollie) should be any different.
    That just a silly statement. All professions have some form of alcohol related problems from firefighters to police from train conductors to airline pilots. They might not be all drinking beer provided by the company but they all have some form of drinking related issues.
    Hell with the way things are going in the future we will be discussing the use of legalized pot by off duty firefighters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    Exactly the liability to the union is just as great as the liability to the volunteer department. So why should the union take on the liability? Why should the union show support to drinking ( by buying and serving it). When everone knows good and well that a union brother has to drive home after the meeting.
    True. Except we are discussing the condoning of drinking on taxpayer funded property with the potential of responding while intoxicated on taxpayer funded apparatus.

    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    IMO it is not good bussiness for any professional organization whether it be a volunteer fire department or a union local to serve alcohol. The reason minus the response aspect are all the same. The public preception liability etc.
    No argument. But we are discussing "firefighters" drinking on taxpayer funded property with the potential of responding while intoxicated on taxpayer funded apparatus.

    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    Once again how ironic is it a union brother can drink a union bought beer at a meeting drive home and get in an accident. He is then charged with a DUI and the paper reads firefighter gets DUI leaving union meeting. In essence he was given a beer that cost him his job by an organization whose soul purpose is to protect his safety and well being on the job.
    No argument. But we are discussing "firefighters" drinking on taxpayer funded property with the potential of responding while intoxicated on taxpayer funded apparatus.



    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    That just a silly statement. All professions have some form of alcohol related problems from firefighters to police from train conductors to airline pilots. They might not be all drinking beer provided by the company but they all have some form of drinking related issues.
    Hell with the way things are going in the future we will be discussing the use of legalized pot by off duty firefighters.
    And what happens to those professionals? They typically get terminated or severely disciplined. The same can't be said for volunteer firefighters drinking on taxpayer funded property with the potential of responding while intoxicated on taxpayer funded apparatus.


    I hope that helps clarify the differences for you.
    Last edited by scfire86; 12-08-2013 at 12:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    True. Except we are discussing the condoning of drinking on taxpayer funded property with the potential of responding while intoxicated on taxpayer funded apparatus.


    No argument. But we are discussing "firefighters" drinking on taxpayer funded property with the potential of responding while intoxicated on taxpayer funded apparatus.


    No argument. But we are discussing "firefighters" drinking on taxpayer funded property with the potential of responding while intoxicated on taxpayer funded apparatus.




    And what happens to those professionals? They typically get terminated or severely disciplined. The same can't be said for volunteer firefighters drinking on taxpayer funded property with the potential of responding while intoxicated on taxpayer funded apparatus.


    I hope that helps clarify the differences for you.
    It is 2013 almost 2014 there is clearly no argument for drinking in a firehouse in this day and age. It is a moot point. If any department is dumb enough to let there members do that they are clearly not professional and a merry band of idiots riding fire trucks. I am pointing out the fact that alcohol in the fire service is more then two jolly vollies drinking a beer on the tail board of the engine. There are many different problems in other shapes and forms in regards to alcohol. From off duty abuse due to stress to union condoning consumption in the union hall. You cannot ignore the whole problem.
    If it is just as unprofessional of an image for a volunteer to drink beer bought by the fire company and then expect to be considered professional by the municipal board. We as union members need to understand the same image is portrayed on us when we serve union bought beer in a union hall.

    Either way in the eyes of the kid on the street corner a career or volunteer firefighter consuming a beer in uniform or at fire related event is akin to him seeing superman drinking a beer.

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    If it is just as unprofessional of an image for a volunteer to drink beer bought by the fire company and then expect to be considered professional by the municipal board. We as union members need to understand the same image is portrayed on us when we serve union bought beer in a union hall.
    I'm not sure how your union meetings are run, but John Q. Public is not allowed into ours.
    Either way in the eyes of the kid on the street corner a career or volunteer firefighter consuming a beer in uniform or at fire related event is akin to him seeing superman drinking a beer.
    Again, you are assuming, and assuming a lot. We are not allowed to consume alcohol while in uniform or on duty in any way shape or form. I'm willing to bet that most municipal, professional departments have similar rules. As far as a fire related event what are you alluding too? I guess if I bring my kids to a union picnic and there is drinking, it would be up to me as a parent to address that issue.
    Here now lies the rub, and I am sure I will catch heat for what I'm about to say., but so be it. You represent a view of many recovering alcoholics; I had an issue with alcohol so must everybody else. A fairly conceded and self centered opinion. Now make sure you read what I typed closely, in no way did I marginalize the disease that is alcoholism. It truly is that, a disease. With that in mind, you need to also realize there is a large segment of the populace that do, have, and can drink responsibly. That responsibility is an individuals choice, not yours or others. So to try to use a tarnished image with children argument is extremely disingenuous. Now if that responsibility is abused to the point it starts to affect others, be a danger, be it to themselves or others, then it becomes an issue that needs to be intervened by others. But to lump everybody? I expect better. But to pretend that drinking doesn't occur or it can't be done responsibly is the surest way to set a kid up to fail. Sooner or later, they will be out on their own. Once out of the nest, you had better have them prepared for the real world.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    Here now lies the rub, and I am sure I will catch heat for what I'm about to say., but so be it. You represent a view of many recovering alcoholics; I had an issue with alcohol so must everybody else. A fairly conceded and self centered opinion. Now make sure you read what I typed closely, in no way did I marginalize the disease that is alcoholism. It truly is that, a disease. With that in mind, you need to also realize there is a large segment of the populace that do, have, and can drink responsibly. That responsibility is an individuals choice, not yours or others. So to try to use a tarnished image with children argument is extremely disingenuous. Now if that responsibility is abused to the point it starts to affect others, be a danger, be it to themselves or others, then it becomes an issue that needs to be intervened by others. But to lump everybody? I expect better. But to pretend that drinking doesn't occur or it can't be done responsibly is the surest way to set a kid up to fail. Sooner or later, they will be out on their own. Once out of the nest, you had better have them prepared for the real world.....
    Wow you drew from me not feeling it is right for a local to consume beer at its union meeting or at any fire department functions as the view of an alcoholic. Clearly you don't know me at all. I am far from an alcholic. In fact I can count on two hands the number of beers I have had this year.

    While your union meeting are closed to the public I am willing to bet that at some point either a council member or the mayor might just meet with a union official in the union hall. Do you have the meeting next to the beer fridge? What kind of image is portrayed to that official yup no better the the volunteer outfit the next town over with beer in the firehouse. It puts forth the image that you are a social fraternity and not a professional organized labor union. All of this comes into play during budget battles.

    Interesting point you bring up about alcoholism. What kind of supportive inviting environment do you provide the union member that is struggling with alcohol that is sitting beside you in the meeting. We support you brother and understand it is a disease but there is free beer over there.

    So is the free beer to try to get more members to attend? Hmm isn't that the same argument that the volunteer house uses?

    Or how about we are all responsible adult we can control ourselfs and not drink over the legal limit and drive home. It is just one or two beers with brothers after a meeting Hmm never heard that one before. After all it is not like we are responding.

    Or lastly we limit the number of beers each member has and govern ourselves accordingly everyone knows the rules. Hmmnever heard the argument before.

    And before you even say it it is not like our union meetings are drunken beer bashes. I am willing to be that a lot of the volunteer departments are not drunken beer bashes either that serve beer.

    And just so no one can say I am a hypocrite. Yes my union hall has a beer fridge in it. However I do not agree with it and have spoken my mind. Furthermore at union events I do not drink alcohol as I do not feel it presents the professional image that I want to protray. If after the union meeting some of my brothers and I want to go to bar for a beer and wings I have no problem with that. That is a different setting we are no longer in a professional setting.

    As for the kid argument. I agree 100% that children need to be exposed to things beforethey leave the nest. however why does Your department have a policy against drinking in uniform? Is it maybe that is not the image that they want portrayed to the public. Why is it different for your local to portray that image? Isn't the members of your local the very people that wear that uniform?

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    Comparing drinking in a union hall to a taxpayer funded facility is apples and oranges.

    Keep pushing this ridiculous narrative. Because that is what it is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Comparing drinking in a union hall to a taxpayer funded facility is apples and oranges.

    Keep pushing this ridiculous narrative. Because that is what it is.
    Apples and oranges are both still a fruit.

    A little touchie about taking alcohol out of the union hall are we. Why? Kind of sounds like those volunteers who are touchie about alcohol in there fire hall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Comparing drinking in a union hall to a taxpayer funded facility is apples and oranges.

    Keep pushing this ridiculous narrative. Because that is what it is.
    What about fire stations funded by donations, not tax dollars, which is quite common in rural areas?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    Wow you drew from me not feeling it is right for a local to consume beer at its union meeting or at any fire department functions as the view of an alcoholic. Clearly you don't know me at all. I am far from an alcholic. In fact I can count on two hands the number of beers I have had this year.
    I stated thats how I view your opinion. Your alcohol consumption or lack of is no concern of mine, or really any of my business.
    While your union meeting are closed to the public I am willing to bet that at some point either a council member or the mayor might just meet with a union official in the union hall. Do you have the meeting next to the beer fridge? What kind of image is portrayed to that official yup no better the the volunteer outfit the next town over with beer in the firehouse. It puts forth the image that you are a social fraternity and not a professional organized labor union. All of this comes into play during budget battles.
    Wrong again on your assumption, no beer fridge in the union hall.
    Interesting point you bring up about alcoholism. What kind of supportive inviting environment do you provide the union member that is struggling with alcohol that is sitting beside you in the meeting. We support you brother and understand it is a disease but there is free beer over there.
    So you believe the rest of the responsible drinkers should not enjoy themselves in the presence of one? Again, very conceded.
    So is the free beer to try to get more members to attend? Hmm isn't that the same argument that the volunteer house uses?
    And another wrong assumption....do i sense a trend?
    Or how about we are all responsible adult we can control ourselfs and not drink over the legal limit and drive home. It is just one or two beers with brothers after a meeting Hmm never heard that one before. After all it is not like we are responding.

    Or lastly we limit the number of beers each member has and govern ourselves accordingly everyone knows the rules. Hmmnever heard the argument before.
    This is where we differ, I believe in personal responsibility. Knowing full well the rewards as well as the risks of it.
    And before you even say it it is not like our union meetings are drunken beer bashes. I am willing to be that a lot of the volunteer departments are not drunken beer bashes either that serve beer.
    And how many times have you responded on duty from your union hall?
    And just so no one can say I am a hypocrite. Yes my union hall has a beer fridge in it. However I do not agree with it and have spoken my mind. Furthermore at union events I do not drink alcohol as I do not feel it presents the professional image that I want to protray. If after the union meeting some of my brothers and I want to go to bar for a beer and wings I have no problem with that. That is a different setting we are no longer in a professional setting.

    As for the kid argument. I agree 100% that children need to be exposed to things beforethey leave the nest. however why does Your department have a policy against drinking in uniform? Is it maybe that is not the image that they want portrayed to the public. Why is it different for your local to portray that image? Isn't the members of your local the very people that wear that uniform?
    You make a lot of assumptions with very little fact.
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    Alcohol does not belong in a fire station- whether municipally or privately owned and operated. Period. Anyone who thinks it's ok to have alcohol inside of a fire station should choke themselves.

    Whoever thinks that Alcohol does not belong inside of a privately owned Union Hall should choke themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Alcohol does not belong in a fire station- whether municipally or privately owned and operated. Period. Anyone who thinks it's ok to have alcohol inside of a fire station should choke themselves.

    Whoever thinks that Alcohol does not belong inside of a privately owned Union Hall should choke themselves.
    I agree on the alcohol in the fire house but why so testy about it in the union hall? Please anyone due share with me why do you so adamantly oppose no alcohol in the union hall. I have stated my opinion on why it should not be there please all of you share?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    You make a lot of assumptions with very little fact.
    No you sir are the one that clearly is missing my point if condoned drinking by a 501c3 volunteer fire department presents such a bad image for the public and politicians why is OK for a professional firefighters labor union to condone the same image to the public and politicians?
    If personal responsibility is entirely acepttable in the union hall but doesn't apply to the volunteer fire department? If the liability is to great for the volunteer fire department (as others have said taking the response component out of the equation in terms of members leaving the station to go home) why is the liability not to great for a union local?

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    At the end of the day, drinking carries liability and responsibility, whether it is at a fire station, union hall, bar, house, or banquet hall. Firefighters can drink and drive as easily as anyone else, and "Drunk firefighter crashes after returning from union function" is basically just as bad as "drunk firefighter crashes coming home from bar"

    However, only one of those locations is a building that directly provides an emergency service with an expectation of a professional response.

    If John Q. Public runs into a union hall because he sees a fire, there is no expectation that the people inside are in a position to provide emergency service at a professional level. There are no fire trucks at the union hall, there are no hoses. Maybe some off duty firefighters will be there to help until the on duty crews arrive. Maybe there's someone there who can call 911. There will be no news article about how the union hall was unprepared to provide emergency services. That's what fire stations are for.

    If he runs into a volunteer fire station to report a fire, and the 3 volunteers there are just hanging out and enjoying a cold one (and therefore not responding), expectations are different. "Volunteers drinking at station unable to respond to nearby fire" is a news article. John Q. Public expects the an emergency response from there, not to find people drinking beer. If it was my tax funded station I'd be upset.

    There's also the temptation to say "ah, I only had two beers and the fire is right down the street...whats the worst that can happen?"

    There's a difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    Apples and oranges are both still a fruit.

    A little touchie about taking alcohol out of the union hall are we. Why? Kind of sounds like those volunteers who are touchie about alcohol in there fire hall.
    If I follow your logic a firefighter that drinks in his own home and gets behind the wheel would be also be guilty of off duty abuse. Drinking in a union hall is a private concern. Drinking in a firehouse is a public concern. I could say the same about thousands of employees who work for private companies whose sole source of revenue are government contracts. Your analogy still fails.


    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    What about fire stations funded by donations, not tax dollars, which is quite common in rural areas?
    What about it? Were the stations built with donations? If it's owned by the city, it's connected to the taxpayer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rescue_1 View Post
    At the end of the day, drinking carries liability and responsibility, whether it is at a fire station, union hall, bar, house, or banquet hall. Firefighters can drink and drive as easily as anyone else, and "Drunk firefighter crashes after returning from union function" is basically just as bad as "drunk firefighter crashes coming home from bar"

    However, only one of those locations is a building that directly provides an emergency service with an expectation of a professional response.

    If John Q. Public runs into a union hall because he sees a fire, there is no expectation that the people inside are in a position to provide emergency service at a professional level. There are no fire trucks at the union hall, there are no hoses. Maybe some off duty firefighters will be there to help until the on duty crews arrive. Maybe there's someone there who can call 911. There will be no news article about how the union hall was unprepared to provide emergency services. That's what fire stations are for.

    If he runs into a volunteer fire station to report a fire, and the 3 volunteers there are just hanging out and enjoying a cold one (and therefore not responding), expectations are different. "Volunteers drinking at station unable to respond to nearby fire" is a news article. John Q. Public expects the an emergency response from there, not to find people drinking beer. If it was my tax funded station I'd be upset.

    There's also the temptation to say "ah, I only had two beers and the fire is right down the street...whats the worst that can happen?"

    There's a difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    If I follow your logic a firefighter that drinks in his own home and gets behind the wheel would be also be guilty of off duty abuse. Drinking in a union hall is a private concern. Drinking in a firehouse is a public concern. I could say the same about thousands of employees who work for private companies whose sole source of revenue are government contracts. Your analogy still fails.



    What about it? Were the stations built with donations? If it's owned by the city, it's connected to the taxpayer.
    Not so.

    If the department is funded by private donations it's more than likely not connected to the municipality. It's almost always going to be an independent company or corporation, making the building a private, not a public building.

    Such was the case with my previous VFD in VT. We were a non-profit corporation that was owned by the members. The town contracted with us to provide fire protection but we had no connection to the municipality and they could not manage our operations in any way.

    This was not an uncommon model in VT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rescue_1 View Post
    At the end of the day, drinking carries liability and responsibility, whether it is at a fire station, union hall, bar, house, or banquet hall. Firefighters can drink and drive as easily as anyone else, and "Drunk firefighter crashes after returning from union function" is basically just as bad as "drunk firefighter crashes coming home from bar"

    However, only one of those locations is a building that directly provides an emergency service with an expectation of a professional response.

    If John Q. Public runs into a union hall because he sees a fire, there is no expectation that the people inside are in a position to provide emergency service at a professional level. There are no fire trucks at the union hall, there are no hoses. Maybe some off duty firefighters will be there to help until the on duty crews arrive. Maybe there's someone there who can call 911. There will be no news article about how the union hall was unprepared to provide emergency services. That's what fire stations are for.

    If he runs into a volunteer fire station to report a fire, and the 3 volunteers there are just hanging out and enjoying a cold one (and therefore not responding), expectations are different. "Volunteers drinking at station unable to respond to nearby fire" is a news article. John Q. Public expects the an emergency response from there, not to find people drinking beer. If it was my tax funded station I'd be upset.

    There's also the temptation to say "ah, I only had two beers and the fire is right down the street...whats the worst that can happen?"

    There's a difference.
    The difference is that I have never stated that members should be able to drink anytime they want in the fire station.

    I have issues with that.

    I did say that while I'm not a big fan of it, I have minimal issues with some of the crew having a beer or two after drill, when there are other non-drinking members in the house to handle responses and walk-ins, and the area in which the drinking is occurring is not within an area in which the public would walk-through.

    As far as being on duty, volunteers are technically not on duty even when at the station, unless they choose to respond.

    Just out of curiosity, would it look it look any better if somebody walked in and the 3 volunteers couldn't respond because of personal commitments?
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-09-2013 at 10:47 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    No you sir are the one that clearly is missing my point if condoned drinking by a 501c3 volunteer fire department presents such a bad image for the public and politicians why is OK for a professional firefighters labor union to condone the same image to the public and politicians?
    If personal responsibility is entirely acepttable in the union hall but doesn't apply to the volunteer fire department? If the liability is to great for the volunteer fire department (as others have said taking the response component out of the equation in terms of members leaving the station to go home) why is the liability not to great for a union local?
    So this is your stance, give me one example of how my union hall is at all in the same league as the local fire station? Do we respond from there-no. Are we on duty while attending a union meeting-no. Does the public even know that it's our union hall-no. We share with the pipe fitters local. Is their city owned equipment there-no. Is it city property-no. Is the city liable in any way shape or form-no.
    If you can't distinguish the difference between what goes on at a union hall compared to what a reasonable expectation of service at a volunteer fire house, I'm beginning to wonder if you are even a firefighter....
    I would bet that if you polled, most professional firefighters, they would say their union hall is more akin to an elks lodge or VFW as opposed to a fire house. With the exact same resources available.
    Last edited by SPFDRum; 12-09-2013 at 10:25 AM.
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  25. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Not so.

    If the department is funded by private donations it's more than likely not connected to the municipality. It's almost always going to be an independent company or corporation, making the building a private, not a public building.

    Such was the case with my previous VFD in VT. We were a non-profit corporation that was owned by the members. The town contracted with us to provide fire protection but we had no connection to the municipality and they could not manage our operations in any way.

    This was not an uncommon model in VT.
    Try not to be a complete moron your entire life. I know you've worked really hard at it, but it's time to let it go.

    If the FD was funded via private donations then it is even more important that there be no indicators of impropriety like drinking on the premises.
    Last edited by scfire86; 12-09-2013 at 12:13 PM.
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