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Thread: More ammo to rid the fire service of alcohol.......

  1. #101
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I will repeat that alcohol does not belong in response, training or any other activity.
    Then you should repeat this as well because the difference in the two is staggering.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The simple fact is that having a beer or two after drill, if managed does not pose any issues and quite frankly in most places has no affect on the reputation of the fire department.
    Now go ahead and split hairs, but in order to be "managed" one would believe that they are still on the training ground.
    IAFF


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    Why are you guys even wasting your time arguing with the village idiot...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynBravest View Post
    Why are you guys even wasting your time arguing with the village idiot...
    Because if no one counters him it may be seen as quiet agreement with what he says and none of us that truly love this thing called firefighting can allow ourselves to do that.
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  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Because if no one counters him it may be seen as quiet agreement with what he says and none of us that truly love this thing called firefighting can allow ourselves to do that.
    This^^^^^^
    IAFF

  5. #105
    Forum Member HuntPA's Avatar
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    One of our biggest fundraisers is a turkey party where beer is served. As this is one of our biggest fundraisers, we specifically cleared with our insurance agency the fact that there may be alcohol in our station, and it may be at times when there is a response. He then clarified that this coverage included civilians that drank at the fire hall as well as our members. He stated this was necessary if someone were to get into an accident after consuming any alcohol at our fire station.

    We have had instances where after a meeting or fund raiser that some of our members had some alcohol. They are told as soon as they take the first swallow that they are not responding for at least 8 hours and this is our standard policy no matter where they drink.

    As for not responding when at the hall.....I have been in that situation a few times. Most recently I had my 2 young boys with me while I was checking air packs. We got an EMS call while we were there. I don't care what you say, I am not leaving 2 boys (32 months and 8 months at the time) at the fire station by themselves while I go on an EMS call. It has also happened with other members when they were out injured (shoulder, arm, etc.). They were there when toned for a fire. They stayed and ran a radio, but did not respond. So yes, a person can be at the station and not respond to a call.

  6. #106
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    One of our biggest fundraisers is a turkey party where beer is served. As this is one of our biggest fundraisers, we specifically cleared with our insurance agency the fact that there may be alcohol in our station, and it may be at times when there is a response. He then clarified that this coverage included civilians that drank at the fire hall as well as our members. He stated this was necessary if someone were to get into an accident after consuming any alcohol at our fire station.

    We have had instances where after a meeting or fund raiser that some of our members had some alcohol. They are told as soon as they take the first swallow that they are not responding for at least 8 hours and this is our standard policy no matter where they drink.

    So is this documented on some form at the FD of when they last drank and when they can respond again or is it on the honor system? Because if it isn't somehow kept track of it will mean nothing as a defense in court.

    As for not responding when at the hall.....I have been in that situation a few times. Most recently I had my 2 young boys with me while I was checking air packs. We got an EMS call while we were there. I don't care what you say, I am not leaving 2 boys (32 months and 8 months at the time) at the fire station by themselves while I go on an EMS call. It has also happened with other members when they were out injured (shoulder, arm, etc.). They were there when toned for a fire. They stayed and ran a radio, but did not respond. So yes, a person can be at the station and not respond to a call.

    How about getting ridiculous here okay? Those are NOT the circumstances LA described in the least. Frankly, if you did leave your kids at the station, even in someone else's care to go on a call I would think you were stupid beyond belief. If someone is injured and unable to respond that is also NOT the circumstances LA was describing. So try to calm yourself down and save the indignation for somene else.
    I guess this is just one of those times when I am glad I am not on some of your fire departments. You will not change my mind and it is hopeless to try and change yours. Here's hoping I don't read about your FD and the fail safe controls you have on drinking and responding after tipping a few at the station.
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  7. #107
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    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.
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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.
    Cuz bro, were just volunteers.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The simple fact is that having a beer or two after drill, if managed does not pose any issues and quite frankly in most places has no affect on the reputation of the fire department.
    Ok, let me phrase my question into plain English so that you can read into it better....

    Instead of beer, why not Coke, Dr Pepper or Iced Tea? Why do you HAVE to have beer? Are your guys that much of a bunch of alcoholics that they absolutely, positively MUST have beer in order to survive?
    BoxAlarm187 and islandfire03 like this.
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  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    So is this documented on some form at the FD of when they last drank and when they can respond again or is it on the honor system? Because if it isn't somehow kept track of it will mean nothing as a defense in court.
    So do your members have to document when they last drank and have it witnessed on a department form showing when they can next respond? Whether they drink in the fire station or at home, no one should respond with any alcohol in their system. No one that I have seen has said anything other than that.

    The issue is whether alcohol on fire department property is permissible seems to be the issue. In our case, it is a part of our fundraising. For some it is 90% of their fundraising. Whether or not you feel that should be or not, it is. Some of the oldest liquor licenses in PA belong to fire departments. So one way or another, when people think of those departments, they think of the social club and alcohol. This happens regardless since the department's name is on the club. In those areas, it is the reality and we are not going to change that.

    If anyone accepts grant moneys, they must have a drug and alcohol policy. Part of that policy states that no one at the workplace is an expert on intoxication and any suspected alcohol use must be tested at the nearest facility. Unless that is followed it doesn't matter what you have documented, in SOP's, or anything else. Where the person got the alcohol is totally irrelevant. The fact that they showed up and even tried to respond to an emergency with alcohol in their system is the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Ok, let me phrase my question into plain English so that you can read into it better....

    Instead of beer, why not Coke, Dr Pepper or Iced Tea? Why do you HAVE to have beer? Are your guys that much of a bunch of alcoholics that they absolutely, positively MUST have beer in order to survive?
    I guess reading comprehension was not your strong suit so I will repeat this again .....

    Neither of my current departments allow alcohol on the property. ln fact none of combo of volunteer departments in this area, to the best of my knowledge, allow it.

    The department to which I am referring was almost 30 years ago. They no longer allow alcohol.

    As far as your question, some guys preferred a beer or two. That did not make them alcoholics. And it was an option that the department offered.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Ok, let me phrase my question into plain English so that you can read into it better....

    Instead of beer, why not Coke, Dr Pepper or Iced Tea? Why do you HAVE to have beer? Are your guys that much of a bunch of alcoholics that they absolutely, positively MUST have beer in order to survive?
    The 4 times a year when there is alcohol in our station, the chief goes around and makes a response list of those that will not be drinking any alcohol whatsoever. If the person is not on the response list, they do not respond. We also set up stand by departments for these occasions as well as letting them know why they are on stand by. This is common practice around here, especially for appreciation banquets. Some departments take themselves completely out of service with the neighbors covering for that 1 night a year.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    Then you should repeat this as well because the difference in the two is staggering.



    Now go ahead and split hairs, but in order to be "managed" one would believe that they are still on the training ground.
    The fact is while they were no longer involved in the training activity, the department still controlled their activities through policies and procedures as they were still in the firehouse.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    So let me see if I have this right Jim Bob and a couple of his buddies decide to hang out at the firehouse. A call comes in for a structure fire and they have no obligation, by your very own department standards to respond. How about a MORAL obligation to respond? How about Edna Mae's house is on fire and her grandkids are inside? How about this, I challenge those people to honestly and seriously look me right in the face and tell me they are a dedicated firefighter. If they could stand there and watch the rigs pull out to a reported structure fire and not go that is pathetic beyond all comprehension.

    Honestly, every time you post you make your very own fire departments look more and more pathetic.
    Maybe Jim Bob or one of his buddies has to go to work in an hour or two. Or pickup his kids at school. Or attend a school play. Or has to be home in an hour to watch the kids so his wife can go to work. Or has a hunting trip planned with other non-firefighters. Or has one of a hundred other things in his work or personal life that takes precedence over responding with the VOLUNTEER fire department.

    Maybe he is sick enough not to fight fire but fine to catch up on some truck maintenance. or some station maintenance. Or some administrative stuff. Or maybe he is on a medication that will affect his ability to work on the fireground.

    Firefighting as a volunteer is sandwiched around stuff that needs to be done outside of the firehouse. it's perfectly acceptable to be there and not be able to respond if there are things that need to happen on the personal side.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-06-2013 at 03:19 PM.
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  15. #115
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    The 4 times a year when there is alcohol in our station, the chief goes around and makes a response list of those that will not be drinking any alcohol whatsoever. If the person is not on the response list, they do not respond. We also set up stand by departments for these occasions as well as letting them know why they are on stand by. This is common practice around here, especially for appreciation banquets. Some departments take themselves completely out of service with the neighbors covering for that 1 night a year.
    No alcohol allowed on our property. Ever.

    We go out of service the night of our annual banquet 1800-0800 with a fill-in engine from a mutual aid department that we fill in for on their banquet night.

    Our members attending parades, training or other functions while on "company time" are forbidden from consuming alcohol. You go to a parade on our rig, no beer afterwards. You go to a training program and everyone goes down to the corner taphouse for lunch, you drink coke or water.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Policy here is pretty simple. FD vehicle in an accident, driver goes for blood test as soon as PD can get him there. Has nothing to do with whether there is a smell, odd behaviour, nothing. Tested, period.
    As it should be in an FD owned vehicle. I'm speaking more of 3 beers within an hour in a POV and leaving the hall. Its just bad, bad, bad judgement.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    So do your members have to document when they last drank and have it witnessed on a department form showing when they can next respond? Whether they drink in the fire station or at home, no one should respond with any alcohol in their system. No one that I have seen has said anything other than that.

    Let me type slower for you this time so maybe you will understand it this time. If that firefighter drinks at a bar or at home and then is so damn stupid as to respond HE holds the lability for his actions, and yes the fire department will still get burned by his idiocy too. The difference is if he drinks at the fire station or fire station banquet hall, or whatever, with alcohol supplied by the fire department and sanctioned by the fire department, guess where the liability rests? Whether he responds to a call or kills little Betty Loo Who on the way home from the fire station after drinking. Right back on the FD that supplied tha alcohol, deemed it an appropriate behavior, and has a history of that behavior.

    The issue is whether alcohol on fire department property is permissible seems to be the issue. In our case, it is a part of our fundraising. For some it is 90% of their fundraising. Whether or not you feel that should be or not, it is. Some of the oldest liquor licenses in PA belong to fire departments. So one way or another, when people think of those departments, they think of the social club and alcohol. This happens regardless since the department's name is on the club. In those areas, it is the reality and we are not going to change that.

    IF that drinking takes place in another building, not attached to the fire station and drinking is ONLY allowed as part of the fundraiser, I have no issue with that. My problem comes in with people justifying drinking BY FIREFIGHTERS, after trainings, for socializing,or after a call, IN THE FIREHOUSE. The further statement by one here that if drinking after training was discntinued that they would lose members to me is an absolutely pathetic state of affairs. I did not become a volunteer firefighter to be able to drink beer for free and if anyone on this forum did I can only view them with utter and complete contempt.

    If anyone accepts grant moneys, they must have a drug and alcohol policy. Part of that policy states that no one at the workplace is an expert on intoxication and any suspected alcohol use must be tested at the nearest facility. Unless that is followed it doesn't matter what you have documented, in SOP's, or anything else. Where the person got the alcohol is totally irrelevant. The fact that they showed up and even tried to respond to an emergency with alcohol in their system is the problem.

    The culture of acceptance is the problem. In the 20 plus years since we removed beer from my #1 POC FDs fire station there has never been, to my knowledge, an incident of anyone responding after drinking. We have made it brutally clear that immediate suspension will occur, and termination will follow if there is a repeat offense. When I was chief I told people I would call the sheriff and have them arrested if they drove to the station under the influende and then attempted to drive as they left. I have had people tell me after calls the next time they saw me that they were sorry they weren't there but they had had a couple of beers after work. No culture of acceptance makes the rules easy to understand.
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  18. #118
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Maybe Jim Bob or one of his buddies has to go to work in an hour or two. Or pickup his kids at school. Or attend a school play. Or has to be home in an hour to watch the kids so his wife can go to work. Or has a hunting trip planned with other non-firefighters. Or has one of a hundred other things in his work or personal life that takes precedence over responding with the VOLUNTEER fire department.

    THEN DON'T BE AT THE FD WITH THE APPEARANCE THAT YOU ARE AVAILABLE. By the way tha hunting trip compared to your other reasons is absolutely pathetic.

    Maybe he is sick enough not to fight fire but fine to catch up on some truck maintenance. or some station maintenance. Or some administrative stuff. Or maybe he is on a medication that will affect his ability to work on the fireground.

    If he is sick he has an obligation to stay away so he doesn't make other fireighters sick too. Otherwise he is a selfish bastard that has no concern for his Brother and Sister firefighters. AND YES, I did say that on numerous occasions where ****** hats came into the career fire house sick.

    Firefighting as a volunteer is sandwiched around stuff that needs to be done outside of the firehouse. it's perfectly acceptable to be there and not be able to respond if there are things that need to happen on the personal side.

    Sorry NO, if you are at the station then you should respond. If you are sick stay the hell home.
    Just keep posting, you are right back on the track of making you and your departments look absolutely ridiculous once again.
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  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The fact is while they were no longer involved in the training activity, the department still controlled their activities through policies and procedures as they were still in the firehouse.
    No, the fact is that you have made two statements in the same thread, just a few posts apart, that contradict each other entirely. You weave stories like a circle of first graders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    First let me start by saying I am 100% against the consumption of alcohol in the fire station and responding while under the influence.

    However to throw a curve ball into the discussion of the career members on the forums. How many of you all have beer at your union hall?
    The union hall isn't the firehouse.
    ‎"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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