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  1. #26
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    Default DEVOE

    Vollies don't have schedules, paid guys get vacations and days off. By no menas should a paid guy drink on the job. That is no different than anyone drinking on their job. Volunteer departments don't have the same luxury that the paid guys do.
    As a volunteer I find this comment VERY offensive. Just because I do NOT get paid in dollar bills for what I do doesn't make what I do any less important. I still run to help those who need it, I still am willing to endanger my life to save that of another, I am still willing to haul my butt out of bed at 3 AM to haul someone out of a smashed up car........ and guess what Devoe, I am paid...... I am paid in the satisfaction I feel and the pride I have in what I do. I don't need a $ sign to feel like I am paid. I take what I do very seriously, and respect the level of responsibility that goes with it. And JUST because I volunteer does NOT mean I am free to respond to calls after imbibing, I have the same responsibility to the public as do those who are on career departments. I am shaking my head that you would even presume to think that because you don't know how many will show to a call that it's ok to respond after a few. I would suggest that you rethink your stance, and if not I hope I'm never in your call area and end up needing assistance.
    To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

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  2. #27
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    Default Bottom line...

    Bottom line...zero tolerance. No beer in station
    or in your body means...NO police investigation,
    NO laywers involed, NO you being on a court stand
    testify/justify YOUR actions, NO fines, NO
    newspaper article about YOU, NO jail time,
    NO drivers license being yanked, NO to higher
    insurance cost, NO to a funeral because you killed
    someone because you responded DUI in a fire truck
    or POV because "its traditional." Just think about
    it.

    Bottom line...just plain NO. It isnt worth all the
    hassle, time and watering down the newer image the
    pubic has of us after 9/11 "Because we did it this
    way for the last 50-something years...."

    Just cover your *** (CYA) and enjoy life and the
    booze off-duty...

    PS- I am not "anti-drinking", just "pro common
    sense".
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-13-2002 at 01:42 PM.

  3. #28
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    There are 2 issues being discussed here. 1 is whether there is beer (or alcohol) in the firehouse, the other is people drinking when responding to calls.
    Bingo, there are two completely separate issues here that the anti-beer types are trying to lump together.

    A person who has something to drink should not respond to a call, whether they drank at the firehouse, the bar next door, their own house, etc.
    Absolutely 100% correct, there is no room for drunken people on any emergency scene. Things happen too fast on any scene to defend drinking of any sort before a response.

    Just because there is beer at the firehouse does not mean everyone sits around drinking all day, talking about the old days, setting fires, waiting for a call to come in. We are adults. Act like adults. Use the lump on top of your shoulders as it should. My company has been volunteer for 117 years. We have had beer on tap, then in a soda machine, and now back on tap. After a meeting or drill, some guys will sit and have a beer. They simply don't respond to calls. It's that simple. Be an adult and use your head. We have beer in our firehouse, does the public ever see it? Nope. It's in a back room that is not open to the public. Have they ever seen a drunk fireman? Not at a call, but they have seen them at some of the local bars, standing next to police, garbage men, council members, lawyers, doctors, etc. If not "on-duty" then it's their time to do as they wish. Just don't answer calls.
    I agree with this train of though completely. Just because there is beer available at the station it doesn’t mean that everyone has to slam down 45 of them at each function. In my company it's split about 50/50 between those who do like a beer once and a while and those who do not drink at all. We've got the fridge stocked with beer, soda, water, etc. and after a call it sure is nice to have the ability to throw back a beverage of your choice. Is the problem the beer? Nope! The problem is with members who abuse the beer and the privilege of having the beer available. Do we sit around after a call and get **** faced? Nope! We may drink a beer or 2 over a couple of hours as we discuss the night’s events. Does drinking a beer or two after a call make us bad people or a hazard to society? Nope, the drinking is done responsibly.

    Bottom line is there is no problem with beer at the station in my opinion. However, there is a problem with drunken people responding to calls. How do you fix this? Simple, make a company alcohol policy and enforce it. You respond to a call under the influence and you are gone, period end of story and discussion.

  4. #29
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    Originally posted by Ltmdepas3280: If you are killed while under the influence ( meaning any alcohol)you are risking any benefits your family would recieve thru the feds or your department.
    Absolutely true. Taken from the US Fire Administration's website:
    No PSOB Program benefit can be paid:
    • If the death or permanent and total disability was caused by the intentional misconduct of the public safety officer or if the officer intended to bring about his or her own death or permanent and total disability.
    • If the public safety officer was voluntarily intoxicated at the time of death or permanent and total disability.
    • If the public safety officer was performing his or her duties in a grossly negligent manner at the time of death or permanent and total disability.
    • To a claimant whose actions were a substantial contributing factor to the death of the public safety officer.
    • To members of the military serving as law enforcement officers, firefighters, or rescue squad or ambulance crew members, or to any of their survivors.
    Is that really worth risking your family's financial wellbeing? The risks on this job are bad enough. They don't need to be exacerbated with the introduction of alcohol into the mix.
    Originally posted by cdevoe: ...the guy that has had 2, 3, 4 or even 6 beers might still be able to function in some capacity.
    You can't be serious. I'm sure similar thoughts were in the mind of the guy that only had a "few" before he slid behind the wheel and ultimately killed a family when he hit their vehicle after crossing left of center.

    Chief Reason is right in that it's an issue of "self-control" rather than whether it's in the firehouse or not, but my problem comes from the person or persons who drink at the firehouse, then get a call, and then go on that call because they think that I've only had 2, 3, 4 or even 6 beers. I might still be able to function in some capacity.

    Like my good friend Chief Reason, I enjoy a beer or two . I'm just not going anywhere when I do it.
    Last edited by Steamer; 11-13-2002 at 02:08 PM.
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  5. #30
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    Default

    OK, how is the person who has had a couple of beers any different from the guy who takes over the counter medications? Or how about the person with emotional or mental problems? How about the person that shows up with physical problems? Say sore legs, bad back, etc. How about the person who shows up fatigued?

    Nobody is ever 100% every hour of every day.

    And Pfire23, you misunderstand. Paid guys get scheduled vacations, we volunteers don't. Your community expects you to be on call 365 dyas a year, 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

    As for the 2 issues. One can assume that if there is beer in th FH then it will be drank. If the call comes in you may or may not respond.

    But what is the difference where one drinks the beer.

    There is a golden rule in our department. If you have been drinking you don't drive the trucks.

  6. #31
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    OK, how is the person who has had a couple of beers any different from the guy who takes over the counter medications? Or how about the person with emotional or mental problems? How about the person that shows up with physical problems? Say sore legs, bad back, etc. How about the person who shows up fatigued?

    Your excuses and attempts to rationalize what you seem to deem as necessary behavior are ridiculous. You can't honestly believe tht fatigue or back pain are in the same catagory as being under the influence of alcohol.

    If over the counter medications impair the person then, no they should not respond either. I understand that some volunteer departments have problems getting people to respond. That does not give them the excuse to "take whatever we can get". Don't you get it. The people you protect deserve better. I would rather have sober proffessional responders arrive a minute or two later than have impaired responders a minute or so sooner.

    If you cannot provide the service because too many of your members have been drinking, you need to call for mutual aid. Do you realize what a sad situation that is?

    If a community cannot rely on proffessional volunteers to handle calls for service, then perhaps paid people are the answer, since you feel you should not be held to the same standard.

  7. #32
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    If the only reason you are volunteering is for cheap beer at the firehouse..then it's time to
    [size=huge]

    QUIT!!!
    [/size]

    enuff said!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  8. #33
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    Your community expects you to be on call 365 dyas a year, 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

    No, they don't. Work, illness, and social committments can all keep you legitimately from being available.

    They expect the department to show up and act competently.

  9. #34
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    cdevoe, your arguments do not even qualify as logic. You are lowering standards too far, period. This will bite your department on the butt one day.
    “I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
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  10. #35
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    ALL THIS TALK OF BEER IS MAKING ME THIRSTY....ANYONE WANT TO JOIN ME FOR A BEER AND PIZZA DOWN THE STREET....I PROMISE NOT TO DRIVE THE FIRE TRUCK THERE..
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

  11. #36
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    OK, how is the person who has had a couple of beers any different from the guy who takes over the counter medications? Or how about the person with emotional or mental problems? How about the person that shows up with physical problems? Say sore legs, bad back, etc. How about the person who shows up fatigued?
    Ok, let's take this point by point.... over the counter meds that may cause drowsiness; well again that boils down to being responsible and knowing the limits

    Emotional or mental problems.... this person should have been caught upon their application to the department, or at the very least caught by the other individuals on the department. And I don't feel that someone with said problems is a deterrent to a department as long as their issues are being dealt with and not ignored.

    Person with sore legs, bad back etc.... BE RESPONSIBLE if you feel that you are unable to perform your duties DON'T show up, it's that simple. Same with a person who is fatigued to the point of not being able to function. Do yourself and the person who needs the help a favor and please be responsible and practice good judgement.

    I don't have a problem saying "I'm sorry I can't do this task because....", if I feel that I can't do something the way it should be done or I may jeopardize someone because of something within myself I will be the first to say so, that's called being responsible.

    And Pfire23, you misunderstand. Paid guys get scheduled vacations, we volunteers don't. Your community expects you to be on call 365 dyas a year, 7 days a week 24 hours a day
    Devoe, NO I don't misunderstand. I VOLUNTEERED knowing full well what was expected of me. I don't know what type of volunteer departments you are affiliated with but at ours if we are sick, we don't go; if you have a family obligation, that comes first. If I want to be able to have a few days without having to respond to any calls (not that I anticipate ever feeling that way) all I have to do is notify my Chief, 'nuff said. If any of the guys "choose" to take a vacation then they do just that, the rest of us know not to expect them at calls for the said time period.

    If you feel being a volunteer "cuts" into your life so much, why do you do it?? Being on call 24/7 is all part and parcel of volunteering in smaller communities. And quite frankly, at least with us, a small community doesn't have a large enough call volume to be wreaking that much havoc on someone's personal life.

    I'm getting the impression that you have started an discussion that will have no winner and now you are grasping for anything that you feel will prove your point. Read through the responses again, see what everyone is trying to tell you.

    There is a golden rule in our department. If you have been drinking you don't drive the trucks.
    I suppose we should be happy that no one in your department is getting behind the "big trucks" while under the influence, but I have to ask WHY are they responding anyway???? If it was your child, wife, mother, father etc that needed the help, would you still be so laisse faire in your attitude????


    Again, this is JMHO.
    Last edited by PFire23; 11-13-2002 at 04:04 PM.
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  12. #37
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    There is a golden rule in our department, occasionally referred to as a Standard Operating Procedure: if you have been drinking, you don't show up.

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    Default My two cents worth...

    I figured I might as well throw in my two cents worth since everybody else was. I do not drink, but if you want to drink that is your issue to deal with...but don't respond on an emergency call to help me out, I don't care if you are paid or volunteer, DON'T COME TO ME IF YOU HAVE DRANK ANY BEERS, I don't care if it was only 1. In my opinion beer should not be in the firehouse, the public may not ever see it, but they will hear about it, especially in a small town. We as volunteers are complaining all the time that nobody takes us serious, that nobody appreciates us, well we won't repected as professionals until WE ACT AS PROFESSIONALS! That means sometimes we don't do things whether we are in public, or at the firehouse, or anywhere else besides behind closed doors. The public knows that we are firefighters, and will hold our actions against us. It is hard enough to keep our towns respect, we don't need anything hurting our image. Want to be a professional? Then act like one, you don't have to be paid to be a professional.

    -Nothing like a good typo.....NEVER, and I repeat NEVER drink any bears!!
    Last edited by KParker; 11-13-2002 at 04:52 PM.

  14. #39
    iceman4442
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    Smile

    NEVER, EVER try to drink a bear!

    They don't like it, and they can eat us!

    Sorry, couldn't resist!

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    This is too much fun!!


    "Ok, let's take this point by point.... over the counter meds that may cause drowsiness; well again that boils down to being responsible and knowing the limits" I can do the same with alcohol consumtion.

    "Emotional or mental problems.... this person should have been caught upon their application to the department..." Perhaps you haven't heard of job related stress, Or the stress of terminating a relationship, or perhaps the loss of a loved one.

    From Dalmation "Your community expects you to be on call 365 dyas a year, 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

    No, they don't. Work, illness, and social committments can all keep you legitimately from being available.

    They expect the department to show up and act competently."

    I agree 100% that work illness and other committments can keep you away. But when Joe Blow calls 911 he expects a full turn out for his house on fire. The public at large just expects that the volunteers will be available when they need them.

    Captain Gonzo. Get it back to reality.

    And then there is the Dufferman
    "Your excuses and attempts to rationalize what you seem to deem as necessary behavior are ridiculous. You can't honestly believe tht fatigue or back pain are in the same catagory as being under the influence of alcohol. "

    These are not attempts to "excuse or rationalize" These are attempts to open peoples minds to reality. Too much has been made of the "evils" of alcohol in this Politically Correct society. My eyes were opened several years ago when there were 2 automobile fatalities in the same day. The first one involved a guy who had been drinking and hit a car that had run a red light. The guy that ran the light was killed. The guy that had been drinking was charged with DWI, manslaughter and a couple of other things. The second accident occured when a guy was attempting to remove a penny from his cigarette lighter. He drifted off the road striking a 14 year old girl walking on the side of the road. She was killed instantly. It was labeled an unfirtunate accident, no charges were ever filed. The sober guy was just as guilty of manslaughter as the guy who had been drinking, yet he was never charged.

    Now you can try to justify that the person who has had 1 or 2 beers shouldn't be responding. I simply state that there are many other things that can influence the body and it's functions, why allow those?

    Bottom line is, the fire fighter needs to Act Responsibly they need to know their limits. It shouldn't matter what is influencing or impairing their judgement.

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    Oh yea, one more thing. I also think that Fire Fighters should not be allowed to smoke. Smokeing is bad for your health, reduces your abilty to breath, and increase your chances of heart attack. I don't want to go into a burning building with some idiot that ruins their lungs. P.S. I don't smoke

  17. #42
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    Perhaps you haven't heard of job related stress, Or the stress of terminating a relationship, or perhaps the loss of a loved one.
    I would say that like any other profession one would take a "leave of absence" until they were able to deal with what was going on in their personal life. And maybe if you'd have quoted my comment in it's entirety then I could have said that would be where other members may "catch on" to the other person's mental status at that point and time and perhaps "suggest" they take a leave.

    When you said emotional or mental problems, I mistakenly thought that you meant something such as Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. Next time I'll do a better job of reading between the lines to get at your exact meaning.
    Last edited by PFire23; 11-13-2002 at 05:11 PM.
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    "Eight hours from bottle to throttle " -a pilot/VFF words to me about the subject of drinking and driving/flying/firefighting.

    You wanna drink? Be my guest, just don't show up for a call expecting to do anything more than sitting in the day room waiting for everyone else to get back.

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    It's funny

    "When you said emotional or mental problems, I mistakenly thought that you meant something such as Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. Next time I'll do a better job of reading between the lines to get at your exact meaning."

    Is the glass half full or half empty? You were assuming by taking things to the extreme. Anything at the extreme or in excess is bad. All things in moderation are not bad.

    It also shows how some people can read things that you didn't really mean. When I reread what I wrote it made perfect sense to me. Then again, I knew what I meant.

    Some people will have trouble in the personal lives and hide it very well, no one would even know. Problem is you get into a fire or car accident and the guy looses it. Now you have a problem.

    We actually have a couple of guys in the department that I wouldn't mind seeing take a couple of beers or valiums before a call. It would slow them down. They get that adrenaline going and don't get in their way. I saw one of members almost get run over one day as he was walking across the parking lot. One of the other members had to be the first one in so he could drive the truck. Any of you other guys have members like that?

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    Yes Devoe, I assumed and openly admitted that I had made a mistake. This just goes to show that when "typing" ones thoughts or debating a subject via the typewritten word you have to be very precise in putting your thoughts down. For it is very easy to "misinterpret" the true meaning behind the words. PS. I still think it's wrong to respond while under the influence, but like anything else there will be those who think it's wrong and those who think that it's ok as long as you know your limits. The bad thing with knowing your limits while drinking is that the "limit" varies so drastically from person to person. For instance, at what point of drinking do you yourself say "ok, I've had too many and I'm not driving"??? For me I have said that after 2 (no matter how much time in between) and I'll not drive, although I'm sure I could I'm just not willing to take that chance. So if I won't take that chance with myself, I'm certainly not going to take it with someone else. How many times have you heard a guy/gal who just got a DUI say "I didn't think I was THAT drunk", the problem with the whole alcohol/responding issue is that we don't always know our limits, we don't always know where to draw that line and I believe that is where the issue lies. It's easy to say that you know your limits Devoe, and maybe you do, but does the next guy?? Are you willing to bank on that? I'm not.

    I agree with you on the emotional issues being hidden well, although I also believe there are usually some kind of clues to a person's emotional status. Usually, well at least I would think that there would be at least one person within the department that would know the said person well enough to know of any personal issues. But then you never know, not all people share well with others.

    As for the adrenaline rush thing, I think we all have that, but I don't believe any one in our department puts themselves or anyone else at risk because of it. And I've never seen anyone "race" to the hall to be on the first truck, although it's usually 27 and myself because we live the closest.

    And just to clarify, I think I understand the point you are trying to make here; however, not all people know "safe" limits and don't always monitor themselves. So many times, I've had the experience of witnessing *and stopping* someone who has been drinking say "oh, I'm ok to drive" when really they're not. Alcohol can and will give you a false sense of security, we don't always know when we are "impaired" because we are impaired LONG before we feel the effects.
    Last edited by PFire23; 11-13-2002 at 05:41 PM.
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    agree 100% that work illness and other committments can keep you away. But when Joe Blow calls 911 he expects a full turn out for his house on fire. The public at large just expects that the volunteers will be available when they need them.

    Again you can't have it both ways. In one post you say and i quote


    fighting fire is no big deal.
    Now you want to use it as a dramatic example of why you should be able to drink and respond.

    Now you can try to justify that the person who has had 1 or 2 beers shouldn't be responding. I simply state that there are many other things that can influence the body and it's functions, why allow those?
    Apparently the standard of care is higher where I work than where you volunteer. It is obvious that your mind will not be changed on this issue. I would however suggest that you express your opinion openly in your town. I would be willing to bet that the public you serve would not appreciate your condoning alcohol in the firehouse and especially responding after consuming it.

    I sincerely hope you have taken the position you have in order to rile people up and get a response. I pity you, your department, and your customers if you are serious.

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    Devoe,
    Your going to argue this one until you are blue in the face! Well... you have that right.

    Anyway, I am not going to dispute the fact that a person can operate a piece of apparatus or fight a fire with 1 or 2 beers in their systems. Hell, they may be able to do it with 10... my point is that doing that leaves you open to liability if something happens. That is why paid FD's do not do it, as well as it being bad PR!

    I do not care where you are... if you get in a wreck or injure someone with the hint of alcohol in your system while driving to or operating at an emergency scene... the laywers are going to eat you for lunch! That is a fact! PLAIN AND SIMPLE! So I say again, WHY bring that trouble down on the department.

    Beer and alcohol in the stations is coming to an end.Insurance companies will not insure your department anymore in most cases.

    Deal with it...
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    Our Chief took a stand on that issue last year, said that under no circumstances will alcohol be served at any department function on department grounds. He has been voted out as of last week, that was a small part of it. That, and the fact that he stood by all the SOG's and SOP's that we have developed over the past three years of his tenure.

    On a positive note, the alcohol policy will remain. It was written into our bylaws. Good step.

    Hears to y'all....

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    Default Old Uncle Crusty has a story for you.

    Gather round, boys and girls; Old Uncle Crusty has a story for you.
    Some years ago, we responded to an MVA on the interstate. A small SUV rolled over onto one victim, killing her. The other was ejected into a creek. A nurse saw the whole thing and ran to the creek, where she held the other victim's head out of the water so that he wouldn't drown. We got to him and an EMT in our group started accusing the victim of drinking. He denied it and she persisted. Finally, one of the firefighters turned to her and told her that she smelled alcohol on him and not the victim. I was so ****ed that I complained to the ambulance director, who suspended her and I told the firefighter that if he ever showed up like that again, it would be his last time.
    You want to drink; stay home. You want to take prescription, narcotic drugs; stay home. You suffering from stress or whatever; take a leave of absence and stay home. We will get by without you.
    If you were to go on the witness stand in court and tell the lawyer that you brought anything less than your A game to the scene, be prepared to shell out big bucks. Our insurance doesn't cover being drunk on the job.
    And if you are an LODD with anything in your system, your widow get ZERO. Your community feels cheated and the fire department suffers irrepairable damage. You will not destroy the respect that we have worked so hard to build. 10-4?
    Fellow crusties; talk some sense into Devoe. He needs us more than ever.
    IACOJ Forever.

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    Note to self:
    Never, ever, go to Mayfield New York! Do not drive, ride, or walk through this town. Don't even go near any neighboring towns either, because the Mayfield F.D. might be responding mutual aid! Don't even fly over Mayfield. If you make an emergency landing or crash there, and live, you'll still be in danger! The Mayfield F.D. is hazardous to your health!
    Living the dream...

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