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

  1. #1
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Default More ammo to rid the fire service of alcohol.......

    http://www.firehouse.com/news/112583...re-truck-wreck

    Please, for the love of God, it's 2013, almost 2014......Can we please grow the fook up and stop alcohol consumption and then doing crap like this? When are you silly idiots going to learn- you consume ONE beer....One single solitary OUNCE of beer or other alcohol, you turn your pager OFF and you leave it there for 8 hours- no iffs, ands or buts. Period.

    And you CERTAINLY don't consume alcohol while in uniform at a parade and then ride your apparatus (much less drive....) back to the station. Let's get rid of alcohol at parades, huh? If you feel that you need alcohol to have fun at a parade, why don't you just stay home?? (as long as you turn your pager off for 8 hours if you consume alcohol....)
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    My good man, it's been a slower, longer battle than I ever would have thought it would be, and it's still not won. Stupidity lives on.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
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    Completely retarded, with no disrespect intended to those that are developmentally disabled.

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    See, you keep beer at the station or allow people to respond while drinking this is going to happen to you.

    One time I was teaching a firefighter entry level class at a neighboring department. During a break several people got up, went to a fridge and grabbed beers. I told them that they cannot drink during class. Their response was "the chief is drinking, we can too." I told the chief that class would be over with tonight and packed up my stuff and left. He called the tech. college to complain about me. The school backed me up of course.

    In my area, there is beer in several fire stations just a few miles away from me. That won't change until there is a change in leadership.
    Jason Knecht
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    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    It's a cultural mentality, you will no sooner get rid of alcohol at the firehouse then you will requiring departments to meet a minimum training standard. As soon as you try to hold them to a "professional" standard, you get the "we are just volunteers".
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    It's a cultural mentality, you will no sooner get rid of alcohol at the firehouse then you will requiring departments to meet a minimum training standard. As soon as you try to hold them to a "professional" standard, you get the "we are just volunteers".
    ..... Wishing I could find the very recent story on the career member in San Francisco driving apparatus drunk while on duty.

    It's not just a volunteer issue.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    See, you keep beer at the station or allow people to respond while drinking this is going to happen to you.

    One time I was teaching a firefighter entry level class at a neighboring department. During a break several people got up, went to a fridge and grabbed beers. I told them that they cannot drink during class. Their response was "the chief is drinking, we can too." I told the chief that class would be over with tonight and packed up my stuff and left. He called the tech. college to complain about me. The school backed me up of course.

    In my area, there is beer in several fire stations just a few miles away from me. That won't change until there is a change in leadership.
    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.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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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.
    The fire department isn't a social club, it's providing a public service. While there may be a social aspect, and there's nothing wrong with enjoying a drink with the brothers, that can be done in a bar or at someone's house, where there is less risk of firefighters who have been drinking being tempted of responding to a call. There is no reason to have beer actually stored in the firehouse, it's just asking for trouble.

    Could you manage to store beer in the firehouse and keep everyone out of trouble? I'm sure you could. I'm equally sure you could safely keep a trained lion in a cage in the engine bay with appropriate SOPs, but that doesn't make it a good idea.

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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.
    NO! IT! CAN'T! Alcoholic beverages have no place what so ever in a fire station. Period. If you're at the fire station to drink, you're not there to either train or respond...at least you better not be and there's an extremely good possibility that you'll drive after consuming said alcoholic beverages. If you want to drink, either go to a bar, or better yet, drink at home.because it ensures you won't be on the road.

    The fire station is not supposed to be a drinking establishment. Period.
    Last edited by fotowun; 12-03-2013 at 10:29 PM.

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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.
    So, the Foghorn Leghorn of Safety is okay with booze in the firehouse? That sets one hell of an example for the juniors you let on the fire ground.

    For the life of me, I can't figure you out.

  11. #11
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    It always amazes me that SOME people here believe that alcohol is okay in the firehouse. I have never understood how the Chief of Department, the governing body of that fire department, and the insurance carrier for that department don't see the liability issue involved. Let's say Firefighter Jim Bob consumes enough beers at the fire station after drill to be legally drunk. He then gets into his POV and leaves the fire house and is involved in a fatal accident. How many here are naive enough to believe that the attorney for the victim's family won't trace where the firefighter was drinking back to the fire department? How about if that same firefighter gets behind the wheel of a fire apparatus and is involved in an accident?

    The era of booze in the firehouse passed about 20 or 30 years ago. Ask yourself how many of you supporting beer in the firehouse get to drink at your regular job...
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    ..... Wishing I could find the very recent story on the career member in San Francisco driving apparatus drunk while on duty.

    It's not just a volunteer issue.
    You mean the one where the Chief suspended both the ranking duty chiefs, and the captain not because they were willing parties to it, but simply because it happened on their watch and they didn't catch it. The firefighter in question has been terminated.

    Vs. then (and apparently still) Asst. Chief of the department was the drinker, and the department had apparently known for at least 5 years prior that drinking and operating fire apparatus was a regular occurrence. Oh and as far as I can tell they took no action against the Asst. Chief.

    Yeah, that is the same issue.



    Drinking on the career side is an issue, but it rarely an accepted policy issue and usually followed by a quick boot out the door.
    FyredUp and SW-Engine2 like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    ..... Wishing I could find the very recent story on the career member in San Francisco driving apparatus drunk while on duty.

    It's not just a volunteer issue.
    You sir, are a moron. As was pointed out, the situation in SF was handled much differently than the good ole boys club of your moronic group.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    ..... Wishing I could find the very recent story on the career member in San Francisco driving apparatus drunk while on duty.

    It's not just a volunteer issue.
    I absolutely agree with you, it is not just a volunteer issue.

    But lets compare both the career and volunteer firehouses.

    The career environment does not have any alcoholic beverages permitted on firehouse property and obviously working under the influence is unacceptable. The only way alcohol would be in the firehouse is if someone took it upon themselves to violate department policy, which is obviously a big offense. No officer in their right mind would allow the member to work and it would be taken care of at a company level.

    The volly house on the other hand, has beer on tap at all times available to members. Members may come and go as they please and potentially ride the rigs under the influence. This includes the officers and worse the chiefs. Heck for all you know the guys on the rig responded to the station from the local watering hole...

    The major difference is one is 75% social club, 25% public service and the other is 100% public service. (ok maybe 90%, we have our fun )

    As far as parades go, cops firemen and anyone else in the parade usually enjoy a few beverages, but they do so off duty. If they take it upon themselves to get in the rig and drive, or an officer actually knows and allows it, shame on them and they should be punished. Occurrences like that will never be put to end even if prohibition made a come back. It is the responsibility of the officers to control themselves at such events so that they may ensure the safety of the men and those they may encounter.


    Disclaimer: I am a volunteer and career member. I do not consume alcohol so I could honestly care less if we banned it entirely...
    Last edited by BrooklynBravest; 12-04-2013 at 08:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    You sir, are a moron. As was pointed out, the situation in SF was handled much differently than the good ole boys club of your moronic group.
    The only department in which I have been involved with that had beer in the firehouse had strict policies which was enforced.

    The only time beer was available was after drill.

    You drink ... You don't respond until 6AM the following morning.

    Maximum of 3 beers.

    And they were enforced, so don't compare my experiences to departments that allow problems to go unchecked.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Here and there View Post
    You mean the one where the Chief suspended both the ranking duty chiefs, and the captain not because they were willing parties to it, but simply because it happened on their watch and they didn't catch it. The firefighter in question has been terminated.

    Vs. then (and apparently still) Asst. Chief of the department was the drinker, and the department had apparently known for at least 5 years prior that drinking and operating fire apparatus was a regular occurrence. Oh and as far as I can tell they took no action against the Asst. Chief.

    Yeah, that is the same issue.



    Drinking on the career side is an issue, but it rarely an accepted policy issue and usually followed by a quick boot out the door.
    And in the latter case, it was handled in the wrong way.

    Again, firm and enforced policies and procedures.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rescue_1 View Post
    The fire department isn't a social club, it's providing a public service.
    There lies the rub. In many communities, the fire department was a social club. Most have made the transition, some have not.

    We used to have a soda machine in the station, loaded with beer. It's long gone. Then there was the locked fridge full of beer. After a work session, or training, or whatever, the lock would come off and those who chose to do so had a cold one or two. That fridge is full of bottled water now, the beer long since removed.

    Our banquet hall is a separate building from our station. Members don't have access (only certain officers), and there's no beer on tap anyhow. But we do often enjoy a couple of cold ones and some munchies after our monthly meeting. There are some great discussions that go on then. That's really no different than if we all adjourned to the bar down the hill afterwards - it comes down to policies and personal responsibility.

    In that regard, there is nothing whatsoever to prevent a member from getting snockered at home and responding, beyond policies and personal responsibility. We've had it happen.

    On the career side, there are likely those officers who would rather give someone a pass (and even cover for them) than take an action that might be detrimental to a fellow members career. And until something untoward happens, nobody is the wiser.

    Most of those who felt alcohol was an important part of the experience in my department are gone now.

    The railroads have had a similar experience. "Rule G," which is pretty much universal among railroad rulebooks, has been the law of the land almost since the beginning of railroads. While early enforcement was by observation and smell, not breathalyzers and p tests, random testing is now the norm. Still, there are those individuals who feel the need to partake in the intoxicant of their choice before, or while, on duty.

    Much as we hate to admit it, there will always be those who push that envelope. Short of putting alco-sensors on the front door and in the apparatus, I seriously doubt the problem will ever completely go away on either side of the house.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The only department in which I have been involved with that had beer in the firehouse had strict policies which was enforced.

    The only time beer was available was after drill.

    You drink ... You don't respond until 6AM the following morning.

    Maximum of 3 beers.

    And they were enforced, so don't compare my experiences to departments that allow problems to go unchecked.
    My bet is at least a few of your guys after 3 beers are probably at or very near the legal limit for blood alcohol. Again WHY would the fire department and the governing body be willing to accept the liability of one of you members drinking at the station and then driving home?

    Nice attempt to start the career/volly war again. Once again your hatred of career firefighters rears its ugly head.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynBravest View Post
    ...Heck for all you know the guys on the rig responded to the station from the local watering hole...
    Exactly. Drinking and responding is the issue. Not where you drink.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Exactly. Drinking and responding is the issue. Not where you drink.
    I disagree. If a firefighter leaves the station after drinking and is involved in an accident you can bet that the drinking at the firehouse will be brought up and used against the fire department. If you drink at a bar or at home and respond and get in an accident that is on you, UNLESS you make it to the FD and are drivin a piece of fire apparatus.

    Frankly, we need officers with the balls to stand up and say we will be looking at all of you when you respond if we believe you are under the influence and you respond you will be suspended. Period. No second chance, no "Oops, I forgot." Suspended, second time, termination. That hard line will put a bigger dent into the drinking issue than anything else.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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