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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    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.
    More importantly I can count on one hand the number of times I actually saw union officers or any of the membership drinking in ours. The place closed at 4p and was in a neighborhood that did not have easy access to a main street or freeway. While the opportunity existed it was rarely if ever utilized.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    ...Is their city owned equipment there-no. Is it city property-no. Is the city liable in any way shape or form-no...
    My station....

    Is their city owned equipment there-yes (in 1/3 of the building).
    Is it city property-no.
    Is the city liable in any way shape or form-no.


    And an honest question on a side track.....Union halls. Is the Union hall purchased/rented through union dues? Never thought about it before this discussion and I'm just curious. Has nothing to do with the conversation, just something else I don't know.
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    We have a picture in the hallway or our firehouse. It was taken in our day room, A former chief and at the time governor of Virginia are drinking some of the chiefs homemade wine. Different times I guess.

    I never even knew firehouses had alcohol served in them till I met some guys from up north. At the time I honestly though they were messing with me. I don't think alcohol should be in the fire house period, union halls or other halls I don't see a problem with it. Those are not public safety buildings and no one should expect those people in them to do more than call 911. I dont run into a linemen's union hall when my power is out and expect them to jump into a bucket truck and fix it.

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    .............
    Last edited by Snarff; 12-09-2013 at 04:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    And an honest question on a side track.....Union halls. Is the Union hall purchased/rented through union dues? Never thought about it before this discussion and I'm just curious. Has nothing to do with the conversation, just something else I don't know.
    Yes. Our dues go towards everything to fund the local. We (local-affiliate) pay for the building and all associated cost. We pay for our principle officers and executive board members to work for the local. We also pay to reimburse the city for any cost to release members of the negotiating committee or other local members to work on behalf of the local, for whatever reason, if said members need to be released from duty.
    We also pay for all food and beverages served during union meetings; this is usually pizza, wings, beer and soda for evening meetings and donuts, coffee, etc... for an AM meeting.

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    My department hasn't had any alcohol for at least 10 years now, not long enough in my eyes. But anyway, we are still fighting the old stereotype of the guys sitting down at the station getting drunk. On a lot of calls, I am explaining to people that there is no alcohol in our station and they say bull****, we know you drink down there. It takes a long time to get that image out of peoples minds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    More importantly I can count on one hand the number of times I actually saw union officers or any of the membership drinking in ours. The place closed at 4p and was in a neighborhood that did not have easy access to a main street or freeway. While the opportunity existed it was rarely if ever utilized.
    Kinda like ours. There is actually more drinking going on outside the walls of our hall by the drunk homeless dudes. The gutters run heavy with pee. Never had a public complaint about that. We just request an engine to swing by for a wash down in the event that a turd gets cut loose on the sidewalk, or butt mud gets sprayed on the stucco.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    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.
    Our insurance policy covers us for a person leaving the hall after serving alcohol. The same as a bar or other establishment that has alcohol. We do not condone members coming to the hall for social drinking. The only time that is allowed is at the appreciation dinner (again we have another department on stand by with a duty crew made of those that will not be drinking as well). In a place like here, it doesn't matter where you were drinking, people still know that you are a member of the fire department, teacher at the school, or whatever and when you have an accident the stigma is directly attached whether the drinking was there or at your house. It really makes no difference here.

    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.
    I must not have been clear and I apologize. We own one building. There is a removable partition the separates the apparatus bay from the social hall. There is only the one building.

    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.
    Here I will completely agree with you. My only real disagreement with you is your blanket statement of "no alcohol in a firehouse, no matter what!" For some of us, the firehouse is also the fundraising building, community center, etc, and some events will include alcohol.

    We will never agree on this.
    Not totally

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    What about fire stations funded by donations, not tax dollars, which is quite common in rural areas?
    Then they probably don't have the extra funds to pay for booze anyway.

    Next stupid argument please.
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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.
    Evidently you do not get to see the workings of many departments in other areas of the country.

    The department to my west receives no tax money whatsoever. They own all equipment, apparatus, and the building. They have a contract with the municipality to provide coverage.

    We receive tax money directly. Enough to pay our utilities and maintenance on the vehicles. We are set up so that we own everything, unless we dissolve - at which point the municipality would be given the vehicles only. They are not in any way legally liable for the actions of the fire department - only that they have a contract with one to provide for the safety of the people of the township.

    To are north are "Independent Fire Companies". They are in a fire district that receives tax dollars and then through a board of directors is authorized funding through a budget. Again, the municipality is not legally responsible for the actions of the department.

    In all 3 cases the department would be legally responsible for the actions, not the government agency.


    And in the other post where the department has to tell others why some didn't make it, we have done that. After an appreciation dinner, we had a few that were still at the hall and were told to stay there. We then were asked by some of the mutual aid why they didn't see some of the guys. We told them that they were drinking at the banquet and were not allowed to respond. It is not that hard to do really. It is our SOP that if our hall is on a fire that we bring in mutual aid for stand by coverage, so the case of a patient going straight to the hall was covered as well.

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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?
    You can't seruiously be this stupid. If you don't see the difference between drinking in a fire station and drinking in a private building where a labor organization meets then it is pointless for you to even be in this conversation.

    The difference is really quite clear. One is a fire station where people expect to receive assistance if needed. If Jim Bob and Billy Joe and at the firehouse tipping a few beers and Edna Mae pulls in with her 2 year old choking on a hotdog by all of your standards they can't do anything because they were drinking. What image does that project? Further how many believe they won't do something?

    The other is a Union hall, in no way tied to the city or the fire department liability wise. The liability for drinking to the Union is much the same as to a tavern. Further there is no duty to act and less likely a cance that anyone would stop at a Union Hall looking for fire department related assistance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    Evidently you do not get to see the workings of many departments in other areas of the country.

    The department to my west receives no tax money whatsoever. They own all equipment, apparatus, and the building. They have a contract with the municipality to provide coverage.

    We receive tax money directly. Enough to pay our utilities and maintenance on the vehicles. We are set up so that we own everything, unless we dissolve - at which point the municipality would be given the vehicles only. They are not in any way legally liable for the actions of the fire department - only that they have a contract with one to provide for the safety of the people of the township.

    To are north are "Independent Fire Companies". They are in a fire district that receives tax dollars and then through a board of directors is authorized funding through a budget. Again, the municipality is not legally responsible for the actions of the department.

    In all 3 cases the department would be legally responsible for the actions, not the government agency.


    And in the other post where the department has to tell others why some didn't make it, we have done that. After an appreciation dinner, we had a few that were still at the hall and were told to stay there. We then were asked by some of the mutual aid why they didn't see some of the guys. We told them that they were drinking at the banquet and were not allowed to respond. It is not that hard to do really. It is our SOP that if our hall is on a fire that we bring in mutual aid for stand by coverage, so the case of a patient going straight to the hall was covered as well.
    Great idea. Sounds so much easier than just not drinking at the firehouse.

    What would happen if you banned beer tomorrow? Revolt? Mass exodus? Do you really want those guys on the department anyway?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper 45 View Post
    Yes. Our dues go towards everything to fund the local. We (local-affiliate) pay for the building and all associated cost. We pay for our principle officers and executive board members to work for the local. We also pay to reimburse the city for any cost to release members of the negotiating committee or other local members to work on behalf of the local, for whatever reason, if said members need to be released from duty.
    We also pay for all food and beverages served during union meetings; this is usually pizza, wings, beer and soda for evening meetings and donuts, coffee, etc... for an AM meeting.
    Thanks Jasper.
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    [QUOTE=SPFDRum;1393183]
    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.[/QUOte

    First off sorry for the long delay in responding to you. 2nd that you for stating my point. An elks lodge is a social gather place. The union hall is home to a professional trade union. Yes it is a place for brotherhood and bonding amgost firefighters. However that is not the main reason that this organization and its assets exist. It is to provide a organized voice for the firefighter to promote fairness and safety in the work place. Maybe just maybe if we stopped looking at the union hall as a social place and a professional organization we would not be put on the chopping blocks and much. If you want a social organization join the emerald society.

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    I obviously am not making my point clear here. I am in no way trying to justify drinking in a firehouse by saying we drink in the union hall. I am merely pointing out that I do not think that it presents a professional image of a organized bussiness minded labor union. I feel that it presents a image more akin to an elks lodge or moose lodge and opens the local up to liability legally and public opinion wise. That is all. I clearly understand that it is a private building and that no response is expected out of the building. In my earlier points I was trying to show that many of the arguments of why drinking is perfectly fine in a union hall are the similar to the arguments people have used in the past to justify why drinking is OK in the firehouse.

    It is really that simple. I feel that alcohol should not be in the union hall as it is a place of bussiness. Clearly if I feel that way about it even in the union hall then you can only imaginey view on alcohol in a firehouse. My personal opinion is no alcohol consumption 8 hours prior to even going near a firehouse.
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    [QUOTE=RFD21C;1393431]
    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post

    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.[/QUOte

    First off sorry for the long delay in responding to you. 2nd that you for stating my point. An elks lodge is a social gather place. The union hall is home to a professional trade union. Yes it is a place for brotherhood and bonding amgost firefighters. However that is not the main reason that this organization and its assets exist. It is to provide a organized voice for the firefighter to promote fairness and safety in the work place. Maybe just maybe if we stopped looking at the union hall as a social place and a professional organization we would not be put on the chopping blocks and much. If you want a social organization join the emerald society.
    My apologies for the improper quote and any mispeelings typing on my phone apparently is more difficult then I had anticipated

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    If anyone can't go more than a few hours / days / weeks without having a drink::: They might just have a drinking problem.
    Don't care if it's at the office, the fire station , the union hall or a ball game.
    End of discussion.

    Need to drink::: get help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Agree that would not be the time for beer in the firehouse.

    That being said, it can be managed with rules and policies that are enforced.

    You are such an idiot. Really. alcohol has NO business in the fire service, with the possible exception of rubbing alcohol.

    None.

    NONE.

    It CAN NOT BE MANAGED with RULES AND POLICIES when it makes the 6pm news.

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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.
    And I am certainly happy you do live there. Far away from here. Anyways, LEO's don't have volunteer stations, with completely volunteer agencies. You are comparing apples to volkswagens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Has nothing to do with the current discussion.

    (Besides being inaccurate)
    No, it actually has everything to do with the current conversation. You are the third (or fourth) class of person here. We have paid firefighters, we have volunteer firefighters, and we have you - posers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    And I am certainly happy you do live there. Far away from here. Anyways, LEO's don't have volunteer stations, with completely volunteer agencies. You are comparing apples to volkswagens.
    My father was one of the founders of the reserve police force in my old hometown. They got a minimal monthly check (like, $10). They worked alongside with, and as equals to, the regular officers. The reserves there still do.

    Every now and then they'd catch some kids with alcohol (most often beer). The kids generally got a scolding and sent on their way. The confiscated beer went into the trunk of the patrol car, to be used for a later (like weekend, not after shift) social gathering.

    I doubt they could get away with that today - kiddo would complain to mom and dad that the cops stole their beer, and mom and dad would complain up the ladder...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    You are such an idiot. Really. alcohol has NO business in the fire service, with the possible exception of rubbing alcohol.

    None.

    NONE.

    It CAN NOT BE MANAGED with RULES AND POLICIES when it makes the 6pm news.
    Funny thing is that I have yet to see any of the VFDs that have bars in my hometown area make the 6:00 news.

    I'm sure those enforced rules and policies have nothing to do with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Funny thing is that I have yet to see any of the VFDs that have bars in my hometown area make the 6:00 news.

    I'm sure those enforced rules and policies have nothing to do with it.
    Oh, well, thats different. I understand now, as long as it has not yet happened it never will, right?

    Makes perfect LAF sense to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    My father was one of the founders of the reserve police force in my old hometown. They got a minimal monthly check (like, $10). They worked alongside with, and as equals to, the regular officers. The reserves there still do.

    Every now and then they'd catch some kids with alcohol (most often beer). The kids generally got a scolding and sent on their way. The confiscated beer went into the trunk of the patrol car, to be used for a later (like weekend, not after shift) social gathering.

    I doubt they could get away with that today - kiddo would complain to mom and dad that the cops stole their beer, and mom and dad would complain up the ladder...
    Those were the good old days. You could send a kid home knowing that dad was going to beat his arse. Now, not so much.... if ever

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    [quote=rfd21c;1393431]
    Quote Originally Posted by spfdrum View Post
    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.[/quote

    first off sorry for the long delay in responding to you. 2nd that you for stating my point. An elks lodge is a social gather place. The union hall is home to a professional trade union. Yes it is a place for brotherhood and bonding amgost firefighters. However that is not the main reason that this organization and its assets exist. It is to provide a organized voice for the firefighter to promote fairness and safety in the work place. Maybe just maybe if we stopped looking at the union hall as a social place and a professional organization we would not be put on the chopping blocks and much. If you want a social organization join the emerald society.
    We'll with 450 plus guys on 3 shifts, like it or not, it's going to be very much like a social setting. The other building trade union I was in was very similar. It has a lot to do with the comraderie of a shared experience. The fact that needs to be explained to you makes me wonder if you are even in a union, let alone the IAFF.
    As far as getting any work done, since we are local 21 and organized on day one, I think we are doing a very good job with our voice and role as a union. And have been doing it well for a very long time. Funny fact, the comraderie and socializing at these meetings sure does help getting people out to pound signs or make our voice heard....
    As far as making yourself clear, what arguments are being used to justify drinking in a station? You really believe that Joe Public, if they could find our union hall, and then know it was a fire union meeting, would expect the same level of service if they rang the bell on a volunteer fire house? If that's the case, obtuse comes to mind.
    Last edited by SPFDRum; 12-11-2013 at 07:23 PM.
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