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  1. #41
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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


  2. #42
    Forum Member PFire23's Avatar
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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 04:11 PM.
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  3. #43
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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.

  4. #44
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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?

  5. #45
    Forum Member PFire23's Avatar
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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 04:41 PM.
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  6. #46
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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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.

  7. #47
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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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...
    Always remember the CHARLESTON 9

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    North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum
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  8. #48
    Senior Member huff317's Avatar
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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....

    Peace
    Oklahoma Bound!

  9. #49
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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.

  10. #50
    MembersZone Subscriber TailboardJockey's Avatar
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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...

  11. #51
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    Originally posted by TailboardJockey
    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!

  12. #52
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    LMAO at Geroge and the Tail. You guys are too funny.

    Mr. Pfire is the only one that seems to be able to discuss this reasonably and rationally.

    Want another story. We had a car fire one day. While cleaning up the equipment and getting the trucks back in service we got another call. One of my fellow fire fighters jumped in the truck, started it, and pulled out with lights and sirens blasting. In his haste he forgot to close the side door that housed the SCBA's, it was subsequentlly ripped off the truck almost hitting another fire fighter.

    "...The bad thing with knowing your limits while drinking is that the "limit" varies so drastically from person to person..." This is 100% right on the money and it applies to many things besides alcohol. I've seen guys over do it on the fire ground. We have a 2 bottle rule. This means after 2 bottles you take a break and get some re-hab. While at a very large structure fire I caught a guy trying to put on what I thoght was his third bottle. After further review with a fellow fire fighter we determined he was on his fourth bottle. Needless to say we stopped him. Now how is this action any less dangerous than having a couple of beers. Matter of fact, this same fire I was out to dinner and was just finishing when we got the call. I had 2 or 3 draft beers (actually one was a 3/4 beer, I never got to finish it). The guy driving the truck (sober) went right past a hydrant, so we didn't lay in, and then parked under some wires. I told him to back up to get out from under the wires (the guy with the beers). So we have a case here where the guy who was drinking was more alert and making better decsions than the sober guy. It got worse too. Instead of pulling the hose back to the hydrant the set up the portable pond first. Keep in mind for 95% of our fires we don't have hydrants, so not that big a deal.

    The post incident review, in the club house, over a couple of cold ones, revealed most of the mistakes that were made. If we didn't have the beers in the club house 1/2 of the guys would have gone straight home and not helped with the clean up. Of those that did show for the cleanup, all would have done the job and gone home. Nobody would have stayed to discuss anything.

    And just to set the record straight. There is no place on the fire ground for people with their abilities impaired to the point they become a problem. No one is 100% every day. Some days we all operate at 90% or 80% or 70%. We have to know our limits. I have shown up and calls and told the chief I don't feel up to going interior. I can still roll hose, I can still get refreshments, I can still direct traffic, I can still help in many ways. Only you know what is safe for you.

  13. #53
    iceman4442
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    Long before alcohol affects a person's balance, fine motor skills, or anything else, it begins to affect judgement. This, in turn, seems to make it more difficult for some people to know when to stop drinking.

    Maybe it's just me, but I don't want to be operating at an emergency scene with someone who's judgement may be even slightly impaired!

    Our S.O.P. is very clear: if you've been drinking, you don't go on the run. It does come down to personal responsibility, as if a member has had one or two drinks, shows up and doesn't tell an officer, and the officer doesn't have face to face contact or can't tell he/she's been drinking, the officer won't be able to do anything about it. Having a policy that only prohibits driving a rig when you've been drinking is a disaster/lawsuit waiting to happen. You shouldn't even be on the scene!

    Our station does have beer in the refridgerator (probably on borrowed time), which I think is a bad idea, but it doesn't do anything by itself. Unless someone acts in an unprofessional way with it, it hasn't caused any problems yet.

    As far as the outdated volunteer "take what you can get" manpower thing, I hope that out of our 30 members, less than half would be drinking at any one time! This has not been a problem for us.

  14. #54
    iceman4442
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    Using beer to make sure people attend the after action critique or whatever your term for it is, much less cleaning gear and getting the trucks ready for the next run? Maybe you need different personnel.

    Our only people who are excused from doing the cleanup and reloading are the ones who have to go directly back to work after the call - and they have to stay for the critique.

  15. #55
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    "No one is 100% every day. Some days we all operate at 90% or 80% or 70%."

    Mayfield FD: Home of the 70%-ers!

    "Mr. Pfire is the only one that seems to be able to discuss this reasonably and rationally."

    Translation: "Mr. Pfire is the only one that agrees with me."

    "Want another story. We had a car fire one day. While cleaning up the equipment and getting the trucks back in service we got another call. One of my fellow fire fighters jumped in the truck, started it, and pulled out with lights and sirens blasting. In his haste he forgot to close the side door that housed the SCBA's, it was subsequentlly ripped off the truck almost hitting another fire fighter."

    Well, I bet he wouldn't have done that if he'd been drunk! Was he reprimanded and sent to department-ordered alcohol therapy?

    What the hell was the point of that little anecdote? I ripped a compartment door halfway off while doing maintenance, but what does that have to do with the price of Guinness in Ireland?

    Devoe, your argument lacks logic, consistency, and common sense. Please just quit.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  16. #56
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    cdevoe, not attacking you, but after reading your posts here and from the last thread where this discussion came up, my honest feelings are that your department needs a major shake up. I am volunteer and have been for 20 years. Both companies in my town have beer in their stations and have for a long time and do not see a need to get rid of it. I read your posts and look at my department and all I see is black and white. Every reason you offer as to why to allow drinking is complete opposite of what I experience every day with my membership. We enjoy our beers, we also know not to answer calls. Has anyone in the past ever answered a call with something affecting them? Sure, but it was dealt with right there at that time and the member removed from the scene and put on suspension. I don't have hundreds of members answering calls, so yes, every lost member hurts, but it is well worth the cost. I am not going to tell you to get rid of the beer, I don't think you need to, I just really think you need to evaluate your responses to calls. Claiming it's Ok to be a little under the influence at calls is like the NY Chief claiming it's Ok to be a little ignorant of NFPA codes...where did that get him?

    Stay Safe brother.
    "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?

  17. #57
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    I caught a guy trying to put on what I thoght was his third bottle. After further review with a fellow fire fighter we determined he was on his fourth bottle.
    If we didn't have the beers in the club house 1/2 of the guys would have gone straight home and not helped with the clean up. Of those that did show for the cleanup, all would have done the job and gone home. Nobody would have stayed to discuss anything.

    Now I realize the problem extends beyond you devoe. The fact that your non-drinking members cannot discipline themselves is all the more reason you shouldn't have beer in your station.

    The more you tell us about you and your department the weaker your argument gets. If giving away free beer is the only way you can keep members around to clean up and critique a fire then you are truly in a bad way.

  18. #58
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
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    Guys, you are dealing with someone who has said the following things (note that this does not even include what he has said on this thread):
    Originally posted by cdevoe
    But I ask again, even if you get the NFPA giudws and regs, how many in the department could read and comprehend them?
    Originally posted by cdevoe
    But ask these questions (keep it in the mindset of the volunteer).
    How many people in the department have read and knoe the SOP/SOG??
    If you brought in all of the regs and guidlines, how many would read them? How many would understand them?
    Originally posted by cdevoe
    When it comes to the volunteer ranks things get over looked. Not intentionally. It is difficult for a guy with a full time job to also volunteer on a full time basis.
    Originally posted by cdevoe
    Personally, I'm not going into a burning building for the purpose of training.
    Originally posted by cdevoe
    We have a club house where we go to drink a few beers and relax. We get to BS and we get to know each other. We are volunteers who for the most part only hang out with 3 or 4 other members.
    Originally posted by cdevoe
    For instance, paid guys will practice with the SCBA daily, the volunteer will practice at every fire and maybe once or twice during the year. The volunteers don't have the same amount of time available to them.
    Originally posted by cdevoe
    As a volunteer we strive to meet those same standards. Reality is that there is no way the volunteer can reach the same level as the paid guys (unless the paid guys are really bad at it).

    So I would say that the volunteers should meet the same minimal standards, but they shouldn't be held to the higher standard.
    Originally posted by cdevoe
    If you want stone cold sober responders then I suggest you pay for that service. Otherwise take what you get. I'm not talking about fall down drunk, but just a few beers.
    Originally posted by cdevoe
    And I disagree 100%. The fire Service is a fraternity. We don't neccessarily need naked women running around. But in the volunteer ranks, we do need to provide some fun. If it becomes too much hard work with no fun you will lose all the members. There HAS to be some fun.
    Originally posted by cdevoe
    If we threw out all of the drinkers we would have nothing. Would you rather have a few guys that had a couple of drinks around to put out your fire or nothing at all??? If you are asking the volunteers to give up their Friday and Saturday nights I think you asking too much.
    This person is speaking for one volunteer out of millions. The rest of us do things in an entirely different manner.

    DO NOT JUDGE THE VOLUNTEER FIRE SERVICE BY ITS WEAKEST LINK!!!

    Stay Safe
    Last edited by PAVolunteer; 12-03-2002 at 11:51 AM.

  19. #59
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    cdevoe, you are the weakest link. Goodbye.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  20. #60
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    Default Thanks PA

    Perhaps a new thread. Ridiculous quotes from cdevoe.

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