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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I am very concerned about the fire service's role in society, and the perception of society of the fire service.

    Unlike you though, I have a much wider view of reality given quite frankly, as your experience is basically limited to a large career department (which had no expertise in managing volunteer personnel).
    My view is much wider having served in volunteer departments from busy suburban areas to some very slow, rural areas.

    The reality is that there needs to be adjustments in how a department operates in these areas that do match the culture of the country, and there are places where bars in fire stations is part of the tradition of the firehouse and honestly, a role that is seen by the community as part of what they do. And those bars are very much accepted by the residents of those areas, and that is not going to go away.

    Do those departments need firm controls? Sure, and I have stated that drinking and responding - either from the department bar, drinking a six pack in the station, or drinking off-premises should be dealt with through significant suspensions or outright dismissal.

    So exactly where I come off saying that I support alcohol as part of the fire service I have no idea.
    More of your usual blabber showing the rest of the world why many have such a low view of FD's. Alcohol has no place in a firehouse. PERIOD!!! Couldn't care less whether it is a large, busy, urban department or a group of hayseed vollies in your little burg.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    So a guy that may want A beer after drill or stop in once a week at a staffed bar for a drink is a drunk?
    No. But if a department is investing in a bar for a guy who drinks that little, they are not investing very wisely.

    And if they're investing in a bar for guys who drink more than that, they are shooting themselves in the foot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    So a guy that may want A beer after drill or stop in once a week at a staffed bar for a drink is a drunk?
    No he is someone who has a problem that he can't solve by going home to wife & kids to have A beer.
    Besides Who is staffing the bar at the station, Wait I know ::: firemen who can't really be firefighters because they drink all day while socializing with their friends down at the firehouse.

    Pretty sad commentary.LA
    If thats all you can recruit then it's time to go to a full time career department, & hang out the closed sign at the local bar. Let them drink somewhere else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Was he at the firehouse drinking?
    No he was behind the wheel of a tower ladder drunk driving

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    No he was behind the wheel of a tower ladder drunk driving
    No kidding? Thanks for that useful information.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    So a guy that may want A beer after drill or stop in once a week at a staffed bar for a drink is a drunk?
    I said if it takes alcohol to get them there and keep them there, they are alcoholics. If alcohol is the motivating factor, they are alcoholics.

    Any member that requires alcohol to recruit and retain isn't someone that needs to be on a fire department. There's no recruiting value to that and there's no retention value to that.

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    I think the drunk accusation is just a little bit ridiculous and here's why. What about so many fraternal organizations that include a social hour either before or after meetings that include alcohol? Are all of their members drunks?

    I am not in favor of alcohol in the firehouse, but throwing the drunks and alcoholic accusation around as easily and quickly as some of you are does nothing to support your argument and makes you look just a bit fanatical.

    My #1 volly FD used to have beer in the fridge. We got rid of it about 20 years ago. Legal limits for alcohol in your blood was different back then and there was no absolute sobriety required to operate fire apparatus. So after a meeting, training, or fire, the guys would have a beer, maybe a couple and go home. We had a few that would drink too much on occasion and they would get taken home. But generally people stopped at 1 or 2. Did we have people respond drunk? Not that I ever saw. Did we have people sitting at the station during the day drinking? Nope, because the beer was locked up and only the officers had keys.

    Would I want it back? Not at all. But I will admit that on occasion I miss that ice cold beer after a dusty hot grass fire. But to be honest I would bet I drink a lot less in a year than many of your drink in a month so it isn't like I have to have it.
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    Where is the accountability for the other firefighters? There were at least 2 others with him returning from a call. Did none of them notice the "swaying" and other signs of consumption? At some point the others need to be accountable for not acting in the public interest. The captain blew over twice the legal limit after the call. So either he was worse before the call, or he was drinking at the call. Either way, how can a firefighter get in a vehicle where they know that the operator is drunk? I understand with the rank and all they might be worried there could be consequences from telling an officer no. But at the same time, how much more was done and more so, how much more could have happened?

    If none of the others on the scene reported the intoxication to the officer in charge (or the next in line if this captain was in charge), aren't they partly responsible? I know we are taught that the most important thing on a scene is my safety, the next is my crew's safety, and then on down. How are they doing either of the first two if they let an intoxicated person behind one of the largest vehicles on the road?

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    No he is someone who has a problem that he can't solve by going home to wife & kids to have A beer.
    Besides Who is staffing the bar at the station, Wait I know ::: firemen who can't really be firefighters because they drink all day while socializing with their friends down at the firehouse.

    Pretty sad commentary.LA
    If thats all you can recruit then it's time to go to a full time career department, & hang out the closed sign at the local bar. Let them drink somewhere else.
    So a guy that wants to have a beer or two after drill rather than go home is a drunk?

    I guess that makes the guys in the softball league drunks. I guess that makes the guys in the bowling and golf leagues drunks. I even guess makes the union guys that may have a beer or two at the union hall before or after meetings drunks.

    I doubt anyone would join the FD bwecause they get to have a couple of beers after drill, but the social aspect is part of the package, and yes, to some a beer or two is part of the social aspect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    Where is the accountability for the other firefighters? There were at least 2 others with him returning from a call. Did none of them notice the "swaying" and other signs of consumption? At some point the others need to be accountable for not acting in the public interest. The captain blew over twice the legal limit after the call. So either he was worse before the call, or he was drinking at the call. Either way, how can a firefighter get in a vehicle where they know that the operator is drunk? I understand with the rank and all they might be worried there could be consequences from telling an officer no. But at the same time, how much more was done and more so, how much more could have happened?

    If none of the others on the scene reported the intoxication to the officer in charge (or the next in line if this captain was in charge), aren't they partly responsible? I know we are taught that the most important thing on a scene is my safety, the next is my crew's safety, and then on down. How are they doing either of t first two if they let an intoxicated person behind one of the largest vehicles on the road?
    I would say that they ae equally responsible and should be disciplined in the same way, even if that includes being dismissed from the department.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    No. But if a department is investing in a bar for a guy who drinks that little, they are not investing very wisely.

    And if they're investing in a bar for guys who drink more than that, they are shooting themselves in the foot.
    Many of these departments invest in bars because they actually make a profit.

    I know of several large VFDs that have a bar with fulltime staff outside of my hometown in upstate NY, and many of them actually serve food as well. Sure, the members can drink there, but so do retrired members and social members. They go there for lunch. They go there for business meetings, and they go there for social activities as well. And yes, these departments have social members who do not respond to fires but have access to the bar as paying customers.

    In addition, these departments have large halls for weddings and other social functions, and having a bar is part of that package. These halls can and do make quite a bit of money - profit - which goes towards firefighting expenses.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Many of these departments invest in bars because they actually make a profit.

    I know of several large VFDs that have a bar with fulltime staff outside of my hometown in upstate NY, and many of them actually serve food as well. Sure, the members can drink there, but so do retrired members and social members. They go there for lunch. They go there for business meetings, and they go there for social activities as well. And yes, these departments have social members who do not respond to fires but have access to the bar as paying customers.

    In addition, these departments have large halls for weddings and other social functions, and having a bar is part of that package. These halls can and do make quite a bit of money - profit - which goes towards firefighting expenses.
    A bar and grill that operates a fire department on the side?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Many of these departments invest in bars because they actually make a profit.

    I know of several large VFDs that have a bar with fulltime staff outside of my hometown in upstate NY, and many of them actually serve food as well. Sure, the members can drink there, but so do retrired members and social members. They go there for lunch. They go there for business meetings, and they go there for social activities as well. And yes, these departments have social members who do not respond to fires but have access to the bar as paying customers.

    In addition, these departments have large halls for weddings and other social functions, and having a bar is part of that package. These halls can and do make quite a bit of money - profit - which goes towards firefighting expenses.
    I thought the bars were there for recruitment.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    I thought the bars were there for recruitment.
    I never stated that there were there for recruitement, but they are part of the recruitement package.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I never stated that there were there for recruitement, but they are part of the recruitement package.
    That is what I would call being there for recruitment. A testicle is not the entirety of one's genitalia, but it is part of the genital package.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    A bar and grill that operates a fire department on the side?
    Not quite, but many of them built the hall with the bar to fill a need in the community, and it for them has evolved into a fairly profitable way of making money to support the firefighting operation.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Not quite, but many of them built the hall with the bar to fill a need in the community, and it for them has evolved into a fairly profitable way of making money to support the firefighting operation.
    That's fine and dandy if it doesn't lead to a bunch of sh**-faced firefighters trying to respond to a call.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    I thought the bars were there for recruitment.
    The bar in our banquet hall is there to entice the public to rent the hall for their receptions, parties, etc. It's a fundraising tool. And the banquet hall is not physically attached to the fire station - it's about a half block away. I should add that a good many local residents refer to our banquet hall as the "community building."

    It is not now, nor has it ever been, a recruitment tool. Unless you were a drunk who was friends with some of the "old school" members of the department, for whom alcohol was an important part of their day. But it's not something that would have ever gone on the recruiting poster, even 35 years ago.

    The vast majority of people, and firefighters as well, like to enjoy a beer while they're being social. They don't need a beer to be social. We'll often crack a 12 pack after the meeting (bought specifically for that purpose - we no longer maintain a liquor license - we have folks use a caterer). Many people abstain, having a soda instead, or even a water. It's not a drunk fest, it's adults having a few adult beverages.

    I know of a fire chief who had a lock on the soda cooler (no beer allowed). He said one of the best decisions he ever made was to take the lock off said cooler. The minimal cost of keeping it stocked was well balanced by the fact that a good number of firefighters thus chose to hang around the firehouse, socializing, even on nights without drills or meetings.

    Firefighters like to socialize. They like to gab. Who's to say that whilst enjoying a brew or two after drill that said firefighters aren't dissecting the drill, figuring out what went well, and what didn't? And improving as a result.

    If sufficient controls are in place, nobody's going to drive drunk, as LA mentions.

    We had beer at the station at one time. Sunday morning work details were quite popular with some folks because after the work was done (and a lot did get done during those sessions), the 'fridge got opened and the quarters came out (odd man buys the round). We even had a soda machine filled with beer (one dollar per).

    The machine is long gone, and the 'fridge is full of water. The group on which that activity centered is also long gone. Several of them are still regulars at the local bar, but that's not our problem any more.

    The incident in question was very much a bone-head move by all involved. It appears that it's had an effect on the department in question, and may well have an effect on other departments in a similar situation. That will be a good thing.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I think the drunk accusation is just a little bit ridiculous and here's why. What about so many fraternal organizations that include a social hour either before or after meetings that include alcohol? Are all of their members drunks?

    I am not in favor of alcohol in the firehouse, but throwing the drunks and alcoholic accusation around as easily and quickly as some of you are does nothing to support your argument and makes you look just a bit fanatical.

    My #1 volly FD used to have beer in the fridge. We got rid of it about 20 years ago. Legal limits for alcohol in your blood was different back then and there was no absolute sobriety required to operate fire apparatus. So after a meeting, training, or fire, the guys would have a beer, maybe a couple and go home. We had a few that would drink too much on occasion and they would get taken home. But generally people stopped at 1 or 2. Did we have people respond drunk? Not that I ever saw. Did we have people sitting at the station during the day drinking? Nope, because the beer was locked up and only the officers had keys.

    Would I want it back? Not at all. But I will admit that on occasion I miss that ice cold beer after a dusty hot grass fire. But to be honest I would bet I drink a lot less in a year than many of your drink in a month so it isn't like I have to have it.
    Was the beer what motivated you to join and stay as a firefighter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WVFD705 View Post
    Was the beer what motivated you to join and stay as a firefighter?
    Nope, in fact I didn't even know it was there until I became a member. Heck, there was a bottle of booze there for those that didn't drink beer.

    To me the only difference is back then the guys seemed to hang around and socialize longer after meetings or drills. Now most have a soda and are gone. Different times and definitely a different kind of people today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    The bar in our banquet hall is there to entice the public to rent the hall for their receptions, parties, etc. It's a fundraising tool. And the banquet hall is not physically attached to the fire station - it's about a half block away. I should add that a good many local residents refer to our banquet hall as the "community building."

    It is not now, nor has it ever been, a recruitment tool. Unless you were a drunk who was friends with some of the "old school" members of the department, for whom alcohol was an important part of their day. But it's not something that would have ever gone on the recruiting poster, even 35 years ago.

    The vast majority of people, and firefighters as well, like to enjoy a beer while they're being social. They don't need a beer to be social. We'll often crack a 12 pack after the meeting (bought specifically for that purpose - we no longer maintain a liquor license - we have folks use a caterer). Many people abstain, having a soda instead, or even a water. It's not a drunk fest, it's adults having a few adult beverages.

    I know of a fire chief who had a lock on the soda cooler (no beer allowed). He said one of the best decisions he ever made was to take the lock off said cooler. The minimal cost of keeping it stocked was well balanced by the fact that a good number of firefighters thus chose to hang around the firehouse, socializing, even on nights without drills or meetings.

    Firefighters like to socialize. They like to gab. Who's to say that whilst enjoying a brew or two after drill that said firefighters aren't dissecting the drill, figuring out what went well, and what didn't? And improving as a result.

    If sufficient controls are in place, nobody's going to drive drunk, as LA mentions.

    We had beer at the station at one time. Sunday morning work details were quite popular with some folks because after the work was done (and a lot did get done during those sessions), the 'fridge got opened and the quarters came out (odd man buys the round). We even had a soda machine filled with beer (one dollar per).

    The machine is long gone, and the 'fridge is full of water. The group on which that activity centered is also long gone. Several of them are still regulars at the local bar, but that's not our problem any more.

    The incident in question was very much a bone-head move by all involved. It appears that it's had an effect on the department in question, and may well have an effect on other departments in a similar situation. That will be a good thing.
    Are those adults having an adult beverage allowed to run a call or do they have to wait a certain amount of time before they can respond?

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    You know something? Unless you are going to breathalizer everyone responding to a call you have no idea if Billy Bob just had 3 beers with dinner sitting at home with his family, or 3 beers at the local watering hole. The only time you can be 100% sure Billy Bob was drinking is when he drank at the firehouse and everyone saw him. So let's stop being stupid with some of the comments about guys drinking at the firehouse being drunks when more likely the guy sitting in his chair at home drinking a 12 pack every night, or the guy stopping at the bar on the way home from work to get chit faced every night, may be a worse danger to the fire department than a guy having a couple of beers at the FD bar.

    And again, I am not in favor of alcohol in the firehouse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    ...likely the guy sitting in his chair at home drinking a 12 pack every night, or the guy stopping at the bar on the way home from work to get chit faced every night, may be a worse danger to the fire department than a guy having a couple of beers at the FD bar.

    And again, I am not in favor of alcohol in the firehouse.
    That's why I asked if anyone knew if the drinking took place at the firehouse.

    Still no answer on that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    The vast majority of people, and firefighters as well, like to enjoy a beer while they're being social. They don't need a beer to be social. We'll often crack a 12 pack after the meeting (bought specifically for that purpose - we no longer maintain a liquor license - we have folks use a caterer). Many people abstain, having a soda instead, or even a water. It's not a drunk fest, it's adults having a few adult beverages.
    If a trauma physician was on-call and socializing with some friends, would it be acceptable for him to have a few beers?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    So a guy that wants to have a beer or two after drill rather than go home is a drunk?

    because they get to have a couple of beers after drill, but the social aspect is part of the package, and yes, to some a beer or two is part of the social aspect.
    They Can't have a bottle of water & socialize?/ Why does it need to be alcohol to socialize?

    They hang around at the station and drink beer because the wife & kids don't matter when there are "brothers " to socialize with.
    It's all an excuse to consume alcohol, no matter how you phrase it.

    Yes many fraternal organizations have alcohol in the building.

    WHY ????
    because it draws all the drunks in for the cheap booze.
    Also the markup on alcohol is large.
    But if selling booze to someone who may well get out on the road and injure or kill some innocent family makes the socializing feel better then YES there is a problem with how they need to drink.

    It's not that I am against drinking per say: It just doesn't need to be in a firestation or connected social hall.

    Too many years of cleaning up after the carnage drunk drivers leave on the highway.
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