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  1. #1
    DFD132
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry DRINKING AND THE FIRE SERVICE

    I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THERE ARE ANY DRY FIREHALLS(NO ALCOHOL) I FEEL TIMES HAVE CHANGED,MY OPION IS I THINK THERE SHOULD BE NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED IN FIRE DEPTS. WHERE RISKING NOT ONLY OUR LIVES ALREADY BY THIS JOB BUT NOW WHERE ADDING ALCOHOL TO THE PROBLEM. I FEEL THERE SHOULD BE A LAW OUT THERE TO BAND ALCOHOL FROM ANY PUBLIC SERVICING AGENT DFD132

  2. #2
    fyrefyghter10
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Smile

    Drinking well at my dads station they had a hall then they got a new station. but anyways there was beer back there and they drank it but they did not ride the trucks. i remeber one time when they were all drinking back in the hall and i was like 10 i went inside the engine room and took there helments and put them in a spot where they wouldnt look for them just so they would not get on the truck

  3. #3
    Brat
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    I know this idea is not very popular but I agree. The time for the good ol boy party at the fire hall has passed. It is time to grow up and be responsible adults. There is too much at stake to allow anyone to be impaired in public while representing the emergency service. If they are not a hazard to the public they are at least a black eye for the dept.

  4. #4
    DD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our stations are totally dry.

  5. #5
    SFD161
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Here is an alcohol related story that will make you shake your head............

    Last summer my volly dept. held a boot drive at a very busy intersection in town. To make a long story short.........one of the junior men (the type of guy that always tries to be the center of attention) decided he would have a frosty beverage in hand while collecting money from the generous motorists.

    Fortunately, word of this never got back to the "city fathers"!!!!

    His excuse..........."It was in a paper bag!"

    Why is that there is always one of "these" on every department?

  6. #6
    dvfd48r6
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our department has a zero tolerance policy for members. If you show up under the influence you will be disciplined severely, also you will be handed over to the PD for any related charges (DUI ect...) I am a younger member of a old volunteer fire department, and have heard the stories, and the we have done it in the past. But we did not have SCBA in the 50's and no one argues about them now

  7. #7
    Brian Dunlap
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    Gone are the days of Drinking Beer at the Fire Hall until the Sun Came Up --- Getting on the Engine or the Truck 1/2 or 3/4 Shot in the *** --- Is it a Good thing ? I think So....My Station is Not a Dry one {We do have a beer tap } But Our Chief also has the Zero Tolerance for Drunks on the Trucks --- In our 80 plus years of existance we have never had a member or members arrive drunk or leave the fire hall on truck or his POV Drunk --- There really is no room for alcohol in the Fire Service but it is something we'll never shake it will always be there --- Even I suck back a few at the Hall after work on tuesday nights --- But I think we all know or should at least know when enough is enough

  8. #8
    lumpy649
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I disagree... do the words "under the influence" or "legally drunk" mean anything? You may "suck back a few" and feel fine(and be a 0.07), show no real signs of consumption, until something happens, and you are now having your BAC analyzed, then that measly 0.08 suddenly replaces 13 as your unlucky number... why chance it? And, meaning no discredit to your staements, I hardly believe that in that amount of time, noone has EVER left or been on a piece sloshed. That just seems a little too good to be true. Please understand that I'm not trying to call you a liar, but have you personally watched every individual member for the past 80 years?


    A concerned, careful beer lover.
    Now... where's my Guinness?

  9. #9
    comwhite
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our city has an ordinance that prohibits alcoholic consumption in or on any public property, which includes the fire station.

  10. #10
    fireman phil
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    I can't believe this is an issue!!! I have never heard of a firehouse that allowed booze. Is this an east coast thing? There is a time and a place for a cold one and the firehouse is not the place.

  11. #11
    Fireantny
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    I agree with some of the other guys in saying that I can hardly believe that this is even an issue. When you think about it, would you want some retard that thought he could hold his liquor trying to fight your house fire. I think this job is dangerous enough without having to throw a new wrench in the works. If you can't wait until your shift is over to have a drink.....maybe you need to think about a new line of work.

  12. #12
    Engine58
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    I know what Brian Dunlap is saying..there are a few firehouses near me that have Bars inside..but the few times I've visited..there is no beer in the firehouse..the only time there is beer on tap is if there is a Department function also when there is a department function anyone wants to drink fine..those who dont drink are put on Crew...we have 8 guys who Do not drink at department functions.if we get a run then those 8 guys gear up and go to the call...now this is how it is for all of the 5 Co's in that town...now this is a volunteer town..Drinking is not tolerated in the firehouses and they are VERY VERY VERY STRICT on when there is beer on tap..so far no problems..and they plan to keep it that way...

    ------------------
    Andrew
    South Amboy, New Jersey
    EMS Cadet in NJ
    "EMTS DON'T DIE THEY JUST STABILIZE"

  13. #13
    ArmyTruckCompany
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Fireman Phil- Yes, I believe it is an east coast thing. In Southeast Pa. and much of New Jersey, it is not an uncommon thing at all for a volunteer station to have a bar in the rec room/tv room- whatever you want to call it. I believe it to be a leftover of the past, one that the "good old boys"and the dinosaurs refuse to let go of. It is exactly that- the past. In my opinion, any fire department that continues to allow this is not only defacing themselves, and the fire service in general, but additionally, they are opening themselves up to massive liability!!!

    Something else that is disturbing- after parades, wet-downs, etc....Beer flows like water around here. Members in uniform drink like fish, and act accordingly. I have seem beer-induced fist fights, verbal arguments, water fights, guys generally acting like schmucks. But then again, beer + firefighters = Schmuck. What really turned my stomach one time was a guy in uniform clearing out his stomach on a civilians lawn near a fire station that was having a truck housing. Nice, huh??

    I have even caught one guy at work indulging one summer afternoon when he pulled his car in to wash it- he was sneaking a few "cold ones." He offered me one, and my reply was "No thank you, and I would appreciate it if you stopped right now yourself.." He laughed at me and asked what business it was of mine?? My answer was "Because I have to ride on the truck company that you are driving, idiot...if you want to continue this debate, we can do so in the Captains office..???" He stopped.

    I am sorry if some of you out there dont like my views. I got bashed a few months back for views when a forum was presented about a firefighter being arrested for DUI and he thought he deserved lieniency. I am sorry- I have a ZERO tolerance for alcohol and the fire service. What you do on your own time is your business.

    ------------------
    "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

  14. #14
    RJE
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We occasionally had someone stash a case of beer in the kitchen fridge, but no one ever (to my knowledge) went on a call after drinking. They would have been suspended if they had. Being vollies, they'd pop a few after coming back from a call (maybe).

    Back then, the chances of having a call back to back was pretty rare. Now they run more than 1000 calls a year, so the practice has faded away with the Christmas party.

    It died when the third year in a row, they got a worker when 3/4 of the dept was plastered. They always had "designated" people who either didn't drink, or volunteered to do coverage. The party was usually at a country club just up the street from the station. Everybody went, they just didn't all drink. After missing the "best one of the year" a couple of years in a row, nobody wanted to drink (and miss out) anymore. The party became a gift exchange in the bay instead.

    We never did have a "tap", since the buildings were "county" property.

  15. #15
    cfr3504
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    phil, to be more accurate the tap in the station is a North East thing. Down South, in the "Bible Belt" if the local churches got wind of that there was drinking at the fire station, us rural volunteer departments would loose donations and respect from the community that we survive on. I'm not going to say that there has never been any alcohol consumed in the fire house, but we do not alllow it, and one member that was caught got suspended for it.

  16. #16
    chief462
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We are a dry station. some of you who do still have alchohol in station beware. we had to sign a paper for our insurance co. that stated thet we will not have alchohol at the station or we would be held liable
    asst. chief kevin smith

  17. #17
    LtStick
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I know of a few dry stations in my area. Unfortunately we could not do this in our station because our social hall is part of our fire station and when we rent it out for parties, weddings and other things. Some of the functions use both the social hall and part or all of the truck floor. We are a volunteer station and rely heavily on donations, rentals and functions to make raise money.
    We do our best to keep members who have been drinking from going on calls.

  18. #18
    Althea Forhan
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    Originally posted by lumpy649:

    A concerned, careful beer lover.
    Now... where's my Guinness?
    Ah! A man after my own liver! On my vollie dept. you can't respond after two drinks.Exceptions made for all the tiny people with no tolerance. Last 4th of July we had a guy who got drunk, took a department vehicle on a call, got back to the station later, went to go for a drive in his p.v., and the skid marks are still there!!!

    Althea


  19. #19
    Kelly Tool
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We have a bar at my Firedepartment. It isn't a matter of getting drunk then getting on a firetruck. Our problem is between Social members and the active members. It is not cool to go to a fire while there are guys at the station that can drink(our policy is no beer flows while we are on a call). It is not just the social members that drink, active members do too, but there isn't the problem of them being irresponsible. Some people mention Public property. Our firecompany owns the property, it is private. The Company rents the building to the Fire district which is public to house the fire appratus and equipment. My feelings are mixed on the issue, to be dry or wet. I see how it can be both bad and good. For the most part, as i see in my own fire company. It is getting worse as time goes on and times change.

    ------------------
    Put the wet stuff on the red stuff
    Visit our Dept. Schodack Valley
    Steve Kelly Jr.
    SVFC

  20. #20
    SmokeEater31
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Well, let's see if I can not ramble on this subject.

    I noted that there was mention of someone making a post some time ago about a firefighter that got a DUI and then thought that there should be lienency towards him. O.K., first of all, there should NOT be ANY lienency towards him at ALL. Now, do I sound judgemental? Do I sound like a do-gooder? Well, let me say this, 3 years ago, I recieved a DWI. It was the most horrible, embarrasing, shameful thing I have EVER done. It only took me ONCE to get the message. The shame that I felt, was not so much that I got caught doing it, but instead that I have been picking up people (or pieces of them, whatever the case may be) and yet there I was being a TOTAL idiot. It is something that has TOTALLY ruined my life. Everyone says, ohh, it happens, life will go on. Well, maybe it has, but the shame and guilt I carry will NEVER go away.

    That said, my department has a beer machine. We have had a beer machine since god was a child. We pay .50 a beer and the money goes into a morale fund so on and so forth. We DO have a ZERO tolerance for responding to Personal Injury Collisions, and a "two beer rule", for anything else. I don't think I would miss it one bit if we had the machine taken out. Whether or not it makes a bad impression for community members to see, I don't know. I DO know though that I TOTALLY agree with the tolerance policy. This is something that has just within the last two years come into play, and I think we are better for it. Some day, I am sure that we will see the end to the "machine", but until then, all we can do is be pro-active and prevent those that choose to "put back some cold ones" from being a danger to themselves, the public, and the rest of us.

    Do I still drink? Every once in a while. It is not an everytime I go to the station thing, but I do have some during special functions, and so forth. Often I join the "non-drinking" group and refrain so as to be available for the next call.

    WORD OF WARNING: For those stations that DO have machines, or taps, or cases, or whatever. A few years back we used to allow anyone of legal age (18+) join the department, and then we tried to regulate who had access to the machine. Well, to make a long story short, the beer was available, the younger ones (under 21) took advantage of it. We lost our license to have beer in the house. We changed a lot of things since then. We have a lock on the machine, and all of us are issued keys for that, so as to prevent younger drinkers access to the beer. Second, we do not allow anyone under the age of 21 join the department either.

    If you are going to drink, I do not blame you. Just PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, be CAREFUL. If you exceed YOUR limit (and be honest with yourself) then remember not to put your life, others life, or the REST of your life in jeapordy. You may never get caught doing it, you may never hurt anyone, but the one time you DO get caught, you will become as miserable as I have.

    Something to think about.

    Your brother in the Service,
    Rob

  21. #21
    percell holland jr
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    none in station, none on property, none on calls or at meetings. if we smell alcohol on their breath while on property, in station or on a call, they are immediately sent home with a 30 day suspension, and then are reviewed grievance committee for further action

  22. #22
    148champ
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    You'll always have the argument of beer/no beer at the firehall. If it is going to be there then it should be in a separate room away from the apparatus floor and once you're there that's where you stay. I know of many firehouses that have alcohol on premisies - if you're going to have it then make provisions and govern accordingly!!!

  23. #23
    URSULAFORHAN
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    Apparently, my daughter needs to be put in a barrel and fed through the bunghole til she's of age. She neglected to mention that the FF who responded DUI and then later rolled his POV, was terminated tout suite. Our small vollie dept's rule is 1 drink and decent body size, you can respond, but not drive. 2 drinks, you don't respond, period. All social events have preplanned duty crews. There's no drinking at either station, even the one where the residents live, but you can drink at the hall which is a separate building about 1/2 mile from the nearest station.

  24. #24
    housesiren
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    beer in the firehouse? you have to be kidding. that is what gives volunteers a bad reputation. my department runs more than 3,000 calls a year and tries to maintain an image as professional as any career department. we are not allowed to drink in the firehouse and nobody with a blood level of more than .05 is allowed to ride. that means you can have a beer at home and still respond if we get a call. it is a little unrealistic to not allow volunteers to drink in their home and respond if they are not under the influence.

    [This message has been edited by housesiren (edited 04-03-2001).]

  25. #25
    firemedic53
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    If you drink and respond you're an idiot. Period. And a self-centered idiot, too. While you're in traction or dead, your family is figuring out how to survive without the benefits you WOULD have received had you had a .00 BAC. If you want to party, join the Elks.

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