1. #1
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    Question Personal cell phone use

    The use of personal cell phones has lead to some problems on our dept. Such as calls to the engineer while driving, getting off the truck talking on one, and getting on the truck late cause they will not end a conversation. When brought up to the chief during an officer meeting his reply was to get info from others on Rules and Regs. If anyone has this problem also and any Rules and Regs to share please foward them to me.

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    Our EMS sent a memo that if you are on an a call (emergency or non emergency) you are not to talk on your cell phone. One person has already been terminated due to talking on a cell phone while tending a patient during a non emergency transfer. She was having an argument with her boyfriend and the patient had a front row seat.

    We contimplated making it a policy that cell phones were not to be used at work at all, but it is unenforceable. We would probably never catch anyone unless a manager was in every station and with every crew 24 hours a day.

    Ed
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    Myself and many of my co-workers have NEXTELs. I have yet to hear of anyone using it to talk in the middle of an energency setting. We can set the phone to use the answering system so that you don't get bothereed but the phone still lets you know that you have a message. Since we also have a limited radio range, we also use it to let our dispatchers know our status when we go on long distance runs. The Direct Connect feature allows us to communicate between each other without using the radios for more personal business.

    I do have a MAJOR problem with the MPO using a cell phone while operating a vehicle. How many accidents have we responded to when the people involved, at least one of them, has been using a cell phone or trying to reach for it for an incoming call and wrecked. We do not need this to endanger us while operating a 30 ton truck.

    It is up to the officer to inform his crew that they are not to use their phone. The leadership of the department needs to back them up and implement policies about their strict use.
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    I don't have in it front of me, but our policy is along the lines of limiting personal cell phone use to, "Pertinent notifications at an appropriate time." Although that's in reference to department phones, a similiar phrase could apply to all.

    Basically, once things are under control you can call work to tell them you're late, or alternately as I've seen more than once calling home from the back of the ambulance while enroute to a call to tell them what to take out/put in the oven and when. Speaking from personal experience, calling your boss to tell him you'll be late does get attention when there's a Q full bore in the background.

    Inappropriate times would be when stretching hose or driving the truck

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    Default Don't forget the taxes!

    If you use your cell for dept business, such as giving patient reports, you can claim it as a tax deduction. I use mine about every third run or so to call in to the hospital just so that number shows up on my bill for the tax lady. As far as any other use, I think common sense should prevail. Using it in the middle of a run for personal use is stupid. Our attention is supposed to be on the patient or structure fire or whatever kind of call we might be on. I know my family knows that if they can't get ahold of me, leave a voicemail. I'll check it after the run. Nothing is that important.
    Life is only temporary, but freedom goes on forever. God bless those who gave all.

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    We only have a few guys on my shift who even bring them to work. Most guys feel that there is too great a chance of breaking them in a fire. The couple of guys who bring them to work leave them at the station on calls anyway. We have no writen rule on this, just leave it up to common sense and courtesy to coworkers and patients.
    "What makes a person run into a building others are running out of?...Character."- Dennis Smith

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    This is in reply to the use of cell phones My feeling is that if someone is talking on the cell phone while on duty during a emergency call of with a patient then they need to become a telemarketer. they need to have the respect for the patient and thier job and pay attention to what they are doing what if the patient dies while they are on the phone what would happen then? if the phone rings while you are on a call well that's why they have voicemail and that's why they make cell phone with numbers on it so you can call them back when you are not busy.

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    Default cell phones

    (this is my first time)
    At our department we have a secretary who answers the phone from 0800-1700 hrs we are not allowed to recive personal phone calls during the day (we work 24hr shifts). More than once a firefighter from a neighboring department has had the third degree when calling one of us to ask as question or get some info from a call. Most guys used their cell phone to keep in touch with faimly during the day, but now they have included the cell phone use in the policy with personal phone calls- not allowed on them during the daytime or whenever the use would interfere with duties. As for use on calls, personal phones are banned from being on any engines or trucks the LT has a department issued one for use if needed

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    BNC's policy sounds a little extreme and paternalistic to me. We have a staff phone provided as a condition of employment and it is up to the good sense of the Staff reinforced if necessary by the Officer in Charge that this is not misused to the detriment of the department.
    The advent of cell phones has bought its own challenges. Surely it goes without saying that even without specific rules anyone silly enough to endanger lives by using a cellphone while driving to an emergency call should not be in the job. Likewise there appropriate and inappropriate times to take and make calls and as with anything new, some people will need that spelled out and others will work it out on their own.
    Cellphones are a useful and at times lifesaving secondary means of communication. If a department can have this means available free of charge and maintained by the staff member I cannot understand that this would not be seen for the advantage it is. The guy wasting his time on the telephone when he should be working is likely to be wasting his time doing something else without one. Don't confuse a discipline and motivation problem with a technology one.
    Jim Maclean. IACOJ NZ branch

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    It is written in our policies and procedures that you can not use a personal cell phone while on duty, period! The issue was brought into the limelight years ago because of guys running their personal businesses out of the firehall. There are thousands of people who would not only love to have the job but would be happy to give it priority over other jobs or business ventures. Sorry about the rant but I feel better now.

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    Default cell phone

    We had the same problem with people running other business on fire time. I have 3 kids at home and occasionaly they neeed to talk to mom instead of dad and they have to wait till night to do so. Other deparments in the area dont have as strict a policy and there is little abuse of the rule. I agree it should be up to the individual and their direct supervisor to monitor use and advert problems.

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    We have a department line and a private line on the phones at the station. We can and do take personal calls from family and friends at the station.

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    I have a cell phone, I take it to work, I charge the battery at night, I call home when I need to. When I come in the firehouse the cell phone goes in my locker and doesn't leave the firehouse with me until I leave the next morning. That is just me. My Captain now takes his personal phone with him everywhere except into the calls. I've been driving and riding when he's gotten into some really colorful conversations with his girlfriend. If I go to a high school ball game or someplace I'm going to be out of the station more then a few hours (planned ahead of time) I'll take my phone with me in case someone needs me, but it stays in the engine. All companies are issued a department phone for service and job related calls only.

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    bncfiremen,

    I was just wondering what fire dept. you worked for. Sounds like a hold-over from the former Communist Russia. Good Lord! They really don't allow phone calls during the day? That's one of the craziest things I've ever heard. Let whoever made that rule know that this is the 21st century. They might have missed it spending all that time in their cave!
    Life is only temporary, but freedom goes on forever. God bless those who gave all.

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    Most of our guys carry a cel phone, and the vast majority use them responsibly. I never answer or use the phone while driving or on a call. I keep it on vibrate while at work.

    I make sure to keep it in the pocket of my gear during calls. If I get trapped or lost, and the radio isn't working or no one hears me, I have our dispatch center on speed dial. Probably would never need it, but it is there just in case.

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    We have dept phones in the crash trucks and patrol cars but are for duty related use only. We can carry cells and it is expected that we will be mature enough to use common sense regarding their usage. I guess that a violation could result in a "greenie" (written disciplinary action). Kinda like everything else, you gotta remember that it's duty first and tend to your personal affairs on down time.(crimminy but I must be getting old )

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    Default cell phone use

    Medic129,
    I agree it is very difficult to go to work all day and not be able to check on the kids at home. We have approached our cheif but he has had several instinces of abuse he likes to bring up so he is not in favor of changing the rule right now. We have had a firefighter who ran his part time business while on duty. He would bring his computer in and cell phone and sit in his room and do his personal business. I know one bad apple should not spoil things for all, but sometimes they do. Also because we have administration that answers the phone during the day they dont want to be our personal secrateries. Besides this rule our department is really a great place to work.

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    Default Not Issued

    Cel phones and pagers are causing problems for candidates, seasoned veterans and rookies. I can't believe the stories I'm hearing. Candidates are carrying their cel phones and pagers to written tests. A candidate was in a department academy and his cel phone starts to ring. He told the training officer, can you hold on a minute, I have a call. Yea, right. The training officer told the class the next time he hears a cel phone go off, they were going to play who can throw the cel phone the furthest.

    On an emergency call, the BC was trying to raise dispatch without success on the radio. The rookie took his cel phone, speed dialed dispatch and handed his cel phone to the BC. Cute? Smart? Innovative? That's not the reception he received.

    Rookies are carrying their cel phones and pagers on duty. Their phone rings, they answer it and go right into cel yell with their friends and relatives. Wives, girl friends and dysfunctional others call all day long with "Important Stuff" and to do pillow talk. Cel phones are ringing in locker rooms and on calls. Some try to be cool by putting their cel phones and pagers on vibrate or stun. Even though they might not answer them when they go off, they still pick them up to check the caller ID or the text message. Then when they think no one is looking, they slip off and return the call. THIS IS DUMB! These are not part of your emergency issue.

    This will not get you off on the right foot. Big clue here. Leave the electronic leashes off and in your vehicle along with your piercings until a time where all your duties are complete. No matter what you might think and how friendly everyone seems to be, you are being watched! It could hurt you big time.

    If you have an emergency situation, ask your officer if you can carry your phone because you are expecting an emergency call.


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