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  1. #21
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Not for nothing, but weren't some of the wild fires that we saw this summer set by paid people?
    I will admit there are exceptions to the rule (both were forestry workers I think) but overall...

    As for my comment 365 X 24 X 7 coverage. 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. Paid departments have a crew on duty, they know who will be there. Volunteers have no idea who will show or how many.


    All the more reason to be on top of your senses and not have them dulled with alcohol...

    There are times you will take what you can get. Grass fire, you've been drinking, take the Indian tank and knock out the hot spots. I don't recommend doing EMS calls after a couple but (simply because of the law suits) fighting fire is no big deal.
    I agree with CAL on this one... Your attitude on this subject is way in left field. I take my job very seriously and I take firefighting very seriously. I am thinking, with the answer you gave "simply because of lawsuits", that you are not an officer or have any responsibility in your department or community. Remember, Firefighting is no big deal, RIGHT?!?!

    I think you should think your answer over before you stick your foot farther in your mouth.
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  2. #22
    Forum Member PFire23's Avatar
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    Default Well.......

    This point can be argued over and over until hell freezes over, however there are dept's out there that do have alcohol available to it's members. So, I think the whole point is this ..... the onus falls onto the individual, if you've had a drink or two DON'T respond. Could you live with yourself if you responded after having a couple and lost a pt?? Even if helping the pt was beyond anyone, wouldn't you always second guess yourself and wonder "what if I hadn't had that drink?". What if after having a couple and then responding to a call one of your brothers or sisters were injured or killed, would you be able to say you had been operating in full capacity and did all you could? It all boils down to maturity and responsibility. Know your limits and don't cross the line. JMHO
    To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

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  3. #23
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    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. 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. 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.

    And as for the it helps us get/keep members BS, I don't believe in that one bit. I am positive my membership would not change in any way if the beer was removed. It's just not that big a deal to us.
    "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?

  4. #24
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    As for my comment 365 X 24 X 7 coverage. 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. Paid departments have a crew on duty, they know who will be there. Volunteers have no idea who will show or how many. There are times you will take what you can get.

    You can't have it both ways devoe. If you want to be treated as a proffessional you had better act like one. My being paid is not what makes me a proffessional. There are many volunteers who are very proffessional. YOu are not a proffessional, not if you truly believe the things you have said in your post.

    devoe, do yourself and your department a favor. Do not post on this topic anymore.

  5. #25
    Forum Member BCmdepas3280's Avatar
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    Default And another thing!

    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....You see, they check for those kind of thing while your on the slab
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  6. #26
    Forum Member PFire23's Avatar
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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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  7. #27
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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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 12:42 PM.

  8. #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 doesnít 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 nightís 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.

  9. #29
    Disillusioned Subscriber Steamer's Avatar
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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 01:08 PM.
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  10. #30
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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?

    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.

  11. #31
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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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.

  12. #32
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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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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  13. #33
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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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.

  14. #34
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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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.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.Ē
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  15. #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"

  16. #36
    Forum Member PFire23's Avatar
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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 03:04 PM.
    To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

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  17. #37
    iceman4442
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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.

  18. #38
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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 03:52 PM.

  19. #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!

  20. #40
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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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