1. #1
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    Angry Leave the Cell Phone in your locker!!!

    Am I alone or do others wish members would leave their cell phones in their lockers during the shift? Something tugs at me when I see guys off in the distance on their phones during drills, inspections, critiques, overhaul, packing up.....

    If I'm outta-line, let me know it. That would probably help me ignore the issue all together. On the other hand, if it's an issue with many, I'd like to pull in the reins a little.

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    i dont see why people would need them unless they know there getting an important phone call. i leave mine in my locker and if i needed to call someone there is a phone in the truck. so i dont think your out of line.
    Jeff Gurski

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    Angry

    I agree!! We had two members of the Coast Guard giving us classroom training and a FF got a call and she went into the other room. She didn't close the door and was talking very loud. Finally, someone got up and closed the door. Talk about lack of respect! It happened once before too, with the same person leaving to chat. If you don't want to be at training, then stay home.

    It's disrespectful to chat on the phone when on line at a store to cash out as well, I might add. I work part time in retail and it amazes me at how rude customers are (and how nice and courteous they expect the cashiers to be). How can I devote my attention to you and you're not devoting it to me?

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    While I have been guilty on one or two occasions for carrying a personal cell phone while on training and since have chosen to leave it behind during practice nights and "respond from home" tone outs, I do have it with me most other times. By that I mean that I will have it if responding via PMV, while enroute somewhere else.

    However, having said that, I agree that the cell phone is best left in the locker. We have the Chief who carries an issued cell, and then there is one each in two different trucks. One is hard mounted to the dash, while the other is a standard personal type phone and very transportable. True that personal phones have occasionally been useful during an event, but generally I agree that the last thing you need is for the thing to go off while you are in the middle of trying to conduct an extrication or any other task for that matter. Your attention is needed for the task at hand and that is where it should be.

    Otherwise than that, there is a time and place for everything, and sometimes it might be nice to have a personal cell handy, as was explained by drkblram.
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    i agree...the only issue that has been brought up at our firehouse is talking on the phone while driving. but it is not just the firefighters...our deputy chief is always disrupting training, meetings, etc...with his phone calls. we have one firefighter that will get up in leave training when his phone rings, and have one firefighter that if you met him you would think that is phone was attached not to his dash..but his ear...so i totally agree with you guys...leave them at home for all i care...but like someone said earlier..they can be helpful if disasters happen...like electricity taking out your whole communications center....i could see if someone has them for emergencies...wife might go in labor today...or something like that...just have common curiosity and mute it...
    Though you are gone brother....you are not forgotten. Support your local EMS and Military! God Bless America!

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    They have their place and after being out in a disaster a couple of years ago and losing our communications with dispatch. They were very valuable for us to communicate with dispatch and useful for personnel to call and check on their families. It would better if all of our apparatus were equipped with cell phones. One concern I do have is that most of cell phones and including pagers are not intrinsically safe and present a hazard in several types of on scene incidents. When on scene or training leave them in the locker or on Unit. If itís that important and someone needs to get hold of members our dispatch can get hold of us at anytime.

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    I agree with u that cell phones should be left in the house. When they get back to the house they can check their voice mail. Its unprofesional to disrupt training or to be on a scene and chatting on a cell phone, also they can be intrinsically unsafe as well. Some, not all, of the abusers ive seen are running there second jobs with their cell phones. Nothing wrong with a second job but when it interferes with firefighting, which better be their main job, than whatever it is needs to stop.

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    There is a time and place for everything and while training or out on a call is not the time to be on a cell phone. I keep mine in the station and check back with it when I get around to it. Only if my wife was ready to calf or if someone close were in the hospital would I carry it with me.
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

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    Angry It just happened

    I just had this happen yesterday at an EMS conference. There were numerous people that carried pagers, radios, and phones with them. I would bet that during the 8 hours there were about 10-12 cellular calls and radios went off 5-6 times. It's just disrespectful to the seminar speakers who take time out of their day to come and educate us. I say either turn them off or set them to silent. Just my thoughts though

    code_blue81
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    I agree 100%. My department has gone so far as issuing an order forbidding the use of personal cell phones while on duty. We had a problem with guys answering calls while on emergency scenes before the order came out. It is now up to the company officer to enforce the order.

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    I carry one in case I'm on a call and can't pick up my kids from daycare. I can get my wife to pick them up or let our provider know I will be late. If (in the very rare instance) it would ring on a call I will mute it. People will be impolite with or without the phone. It just makes it easier for people to be rude.

    Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute classes require that all FD pagers and cell phones be turned off (except for breaks) and the instructor's can, and have confiscated them during classes. Seems to take care of a lot of the problems you mention in your posts.
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    Agree 100%. Common sense and consideration should prevail.

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    I think drkblram hit the nail on the head. It is all about discipline. I used to carry my NEXTEL pretty much everywhere, but during training it gets turned off, or left in the rig unless I am expecting an important call. If I get bumped while on a call I tell them to standby or send the call to voice mail. We have had guys who are constantly on them, seems like especially during cleanup.
    I do not carry my phone as much as I used to, now that the dept. has NEXTELS for each station.
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    Agree 100%!! I am an officer and am issued a portable cell phone. If I am on a call and not command, the thing stays in the truck. And it stays in the truck for trainings and meetings too. I also have a pager that's on vibrate 24/7. If you can't get me on the phone, page me. I will get to you when I can.

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    Personally I take my cell phone on calls, but I shut it off while on the way. On more than one occasion I have had to use my personal phone to call the medical director for an EMS call, or dispatch with something I dont want to put out over the radio. I think it is unprofessional to be taking personal phone calls while on scene, in training, or other FD related duties.
    Basically if I have my phone on me while acting in an official capacity it is silenced or off. Not that it matters much, I dont get any incoming calls anyway.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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    Turn it off during inappropriate times. Find someplace private to talk on it if you just have to take the call.

    I take mine on calls with me, but itís always off. I take it for some of the above-mentioned reasons: in case we have a radio problem, in case weíve got info that doesnít need to be broadcast for every person with a scanner to hear, or in case I need to have someone pick up my kids.

    Kinda had the opposite situation occur on a grass fire last month. My cell phone was on in my radio pocket, and was dialing my house over and over. This stressed the wifey out a bit, since all she could hear was the pump running, garbled radio traffic and the occasional muffled voice. She thought we were in trouble and were trying to call her. I finally heard my phone ring when we shut the pump down to refill, calmed the wife down, and turned the phone off.

    I politely explained later that if I were in trouble, Iíd call dispatch or 911 LONG before Iíd call her. Nothing personal, but sheís probably not going to be in a position to help meÖ.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    If you are at work the cell phone and pager should be left inside your locker. You are there to answer emergency calls, not to be reminded to bring home milk when you get off or whatever.
    When I get to work my cell phone gets turned OFF. My family knows where I am. If it is a matter of life and death that they get in touch with me a message can be gotten to me.
    Most of the guys that carry their cell phones and pagers around with them have a second job and are conducting business on duty. Which is absolutly WRONG . If you like real estate, or construction or whatever that much then do that and be a POC somewhere.

    I had a pager for 10+ years because of a second job in emergency management. When I left that job I didn't get another pager and it is great. I no longer have an electronic leash and my family knows where they can get in touch with me. My wife knows how to dial 911, if it is that big of an emergency and I can't be reached she knows what to do.
    Some times, I think, people feel that they are more important then they realy are. Leave the cell phone and pager off at work.

    Staay safe

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    You'll find my Nextel either on my hip, or once in gear sitting in the cab of the truck.

    Not by personal preference, but I'm on on-call for work (a newspaper) and receive calls anywhere from 0700 to 0200 seven days a week...thankfully by 2 am the last edition is at the presses and no one calls me after that.

    It's not that often, and if I'm completely unavailable there's two or three other folks I work with who can muddle through the problems, it's just I can usually answer a question instantly it takes them 15 minutes to figure out. So at fires I check the phone display for voicemail every air bottle change or so. So far no calls during incidents, but I've stepped out of training & business meetings several times for work.

    The trade-off for taking calls at 1 in the morning (I average two calls a month between 2300 and 0100...which is down from two a week when I first started!) or stepping out of a drill for a few minutes is flexibility in the mornings -- my boss has gotten plenty of calls from the scene of an auto accident telling him I'd be in late, and one morning got a wonderful voicemail saying I'd be couple hours late as the Q siren was wound up in the background since we were responding mutual aid to a working structure.

    As to ettiquette, the Nextel is kept on vibrate 24x7 and check the caller-id before answering. Even if it's work, I'll walk out of the room before answering, even if that means calling them back. Just a bit different perspective -- and I agree with those who don't like people leaving phones on with audible ringers, or answering them in a meeting, or having personal conversations when there's other work to be done.
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    Several firemen on September 11th were saved because they were able to make dispatch aware of their location by using their cell phone.

    Answering calls while on duty is one thing. Having a 2nd means of communication available to you is another.

    You never know when you might need it.

    Stay Safe

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    Leave the Pagers and Phones on vibrate, thats a simple solution. I carry my Nextel and Pager everywhere. I have a toddler and my ex-wife is required by the court to notify me whenever my daughter is sick or injured, regardless of if I am at work or the Firehouse. Seems to me maybe this thread was started because one of the Guys at the Firehouse gets more calls from the Ladies than the thread starter! Its bad enough some states forbid us from smoking while on duty. Please leave our cell phones alone. I pay my bill to nextel and I will use my cell wherever, whenever and however I like. I have enough common sense not to answer the phone on an Ambulance call or while engaged in firefighting, but If it is an emergency, I WILL answer it while enroute to or back from a call.
    You Waste your time, YOUR LINE IS MINE!

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    Artie: Correct me if I'm wrong, but you guys all have radios right? Cells can come in handy if you or your team have no radios. Even with radios, it's a regular occurrence to have communications ask to be contacted land-line due to traffic volume.

    I think your answer is to come down on non-emergency personal usage.

    I wear mine on my hip and do find it to be a pain with bunker pants.

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    Default cells on the job

    I think I was one of the first users on my job to HAVE a cell, a flipfone, it was convieniant to find out issues with lunch. or item pickups etc. obviously if you lost communications. via radio etc. BUT... the new generation all seem to have them, My career Department just issued a cease and desist ban on carrying them, because of abuses.

    I was recently conducting a "tour"/ inspection of a complex of 6 bricks in or district where 2 engines and our 1st due truck were in attendance, to prepare new SOP's... with a Captain on the truck you would think the other three guys would have payed attention a little or even bothered to stick with us, we were on the roof surveying elevator room access I was watching the other 3 truckmen assigned walking around in the court yard talking on they're phones, too busy to be bothered.... I made mention of this to the captain of the company, and strangely enough the no cell phones order was issued the following day... Its a shame, that people who are ignorant ruin a good thing so often...
    I dont believe that our situation was the cause of the ban, but It certainly made enforcement an easy issue, with he guys in my house.... who typically do 1500 to 2300 runs a year while the sluggs on our trucks now do around 350-650.

    (if you note, my name , Ladder 3 was closed in 1994, I was assigned to the 2nd busiest truck company in 1993 Ladder 3 ran 1954 runs, which was busier then then the second busiest Engines in the other two largest cities in my state.) it seems these days the trucks are loaded with do nothings and know nothings who hide in those spots...

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    My dept recently issued an order forbidding cellphones or pagers on calls, unless dept issue(hazmat team, etc) As usual, a couple of members running their side jobs by phone were the main problem. When people are checking their pagers during CPR, it's a little ridiculous. The bad thing is, we don't have cells on the rigs, and numerous times guys had used their personal phones to call dispatch with info they didn't want to send over the air.

    The day after the order came down, a rig went on a hazmat out in a deserted area, and the Batt Chief says, call by phone. Lt says "With what?" The BC then proceeded to tie up the only freq we have for 10 minutes with questions.

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    I am a volunteer and my girlfriend is career. I take my cell phone to duty with me because it is for my business. Her department is not allowing members to talk on cell phones during the day. That is because someone ruined it for everyone.

    I am a District Chief where I volunteer. I tell the people they have two options. They can leave the phone in the station or take it with them and turn it off. Not allowed to have it on during response or at calls.

    unprofessional
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    I normally have my cell with me (set to vibrate) at all times except when on scene, due to all the alarms (both security and process control) for my business coem through to it. Once I forgot to remove it from my pocket and forgot to set it to vibrate - we were up in the roof space wearing scba when all of a sudden "Scotland the Brave" starts toning. I wasn't allowed to forget that one in a hurry.
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