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  1. #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!

  2. #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.

  3. #53
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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.

  4. #54
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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.

  5. #55
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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.
    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.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

  6. #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?

  7. #57
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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.

  8. #58
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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 12:51 PM.

  9. #59
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    cdevoe, you are the weakest link. Goodbye.
    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.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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    Default Thanks PA

    Perhaps a new thread. Ridiculous quotes from cdevoe.

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    ROFLMAO !!!!!


    You guys are too much. Some even look for the worst in every post, we have a term for people like that - Pessimist (aka Naysayer, Worrywart, Gloomy Gus).

    What is so hard to comprehend about the fact that 2 or 3 beers is not a problem. Would be just like the person who takes a few aspirin or Ibuprofens.

    I see a large group of people saying you shouldn't drink and respond because they want you to be 100% on top of your game. Yet these same people can't seem to realize there are many other things that affect your ability to perform. It is just like the 20s all over again, for those lacking in history, that was the period of Prohibition in America. And if anyone is wondering, Prohibition was an experiment that failed miserably.

    Duffman: I wish I was in your department where every thing was perfect. Do you mean to tell me you have never had members who try to go above and beyond the call of duty.

    We do the best we can with limited resources. We don't have an SOP (that I have seen) about what state of mind and physical phitness you should be in to show up at a call. The only thing we have in writing is that members who are placed on disability can not show up at calls until they are released by their doctor. The other requirement is that they pass a physical once a year. We have 50 members, 30 of whom are active, 10 are semi active, and 10 just never show. Of the 30 or so active members you will be lucky to get 1/2 at any given call. Start throwing out people who had a beer for lunch, who have a sore leg or back, are on medication, and suddenly you may or may not have enough trained people to do the job.

    Believe me, there have been many times when the tones go off and I just sit home, as do most in the department. We do however listen to the communications and attempt to determine what is going on. A routine EMS call or car accident and we let the other guys handle it. A fully involved structure fire, you will see a few more guys show up. Hell, 2 weeks ago we had a call on a monday night. I had been at the clubhouse and had just gotten in my car to drive home. I went over and opened up the station. I started the rescue rig and pulled it out. I then stood back and waited for someone to show up and go on the call. No way I was going on an EMS call after having a couple of beers. Doesn't give the patient much confidence to smell alcohol on your breath. Of course diabetics give off the same smell.

    I perhaps, at times, push the envelope towards the extreme when posting some of my comments. That is only intended to counter the extremes posted by the opposition.

    Just keeping it real folks.

  12. #62
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    The trouble with cdevoe's "know your limits" argument is that, when we've been drinking, that limit tends to get pushed back. How much is too much? "I'm good now, I've only had two. Pour me another one and I'll tell you if I'm at my limit yet." How much is too much? Just one more....

    It's deptartments like these that cause volunteer depts. so much grief in trying to loose the "cellar-saver" image. When we banned booze from our house ten years ago, a couple of guys quit. Which ones were they? The ones that never came to training, came to the meetings only to drink and were bumblig fools on a fireground. No, I don't want a partner thats had 4, 3, or even one beer in him/her. And I don't want a bunch of drunks stumbling around my brother's house trying to find his kids in a smokey fire AND get out with them. It's hard enough to remember where you are and where you've been in fire building.

    These comments about volunteer deptartments not being able to meet the same levels of competence are nonsense. I know several vol/POC depts in my area that I would take over some of the career depts. Why? Training and commitment to excellence.

    Cdevoe, have you ever tried to read an NFPA standard? I have, and it's really very easy. I have no college education, and yet, reading 1403, or 1142 is no more difficult than reading the morning newspaper.

    It really is a sad commentary on the motivation of your force when you have to bribe them with booze to get them to train, clean, or critique.
    Last edited by jaybird210; 11-14-2002 at 11:51 AM.

  13. #63
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    Originally posted by cdevoe
    What is so hard to comprehend about the fact that 2 or 3 beers is not a problem. Would be just like the person who takes a few aspirin or Ibuprofens.
    What planet are you from again?

    Stay Safe

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    Hold on a minute, I'm sure we would all prefer the guy next to us to be 100%. But isn't a guy at 80% better than none at all? Just food for thought.

    Second thing with the know the limits. How many FF have gone past their limits while fighting the fire? Too many.

    What we must realize is that the effects of alcohol vary from person to person. So while Fire Fighter A can't function after a beer, Fire Fighter B may have no problem.

    I'm not advocating drunks on the scene. But as I have said in another forum here, be consistant. Don't regulate just one aspect of a person's lifestyle. If you are to regulate the health and welfare of the members, then do a complete job, not half assed. How about requireing regular PT? How about outlawing smoking??

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    To answer PA, I am from Earth, not Utopia.

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    Default NEWS FLASH

    "Mr" Pfire is actually MS.Pfire..

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    Default Good Grief Charlie Brown.

    I had been at the clubhouse and had just gotten in my car to drive home. I went over and opened up the station. I started the rescue rig and pulled it out. I then stood back and waited for someone to show up and go on the call. No way I was going on an EMS call after having a couple of beers
    Had enough beer NOT to go on the call.

    And then get in your car and DRIVE home.

    HALLOOO does anybody else see a problem here?
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  18. #68
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    There's the big problem with alcohol in (or very near) the firehouse. When the call comes in, that temptation to respond is too great to let us say, "Hey, I had a beer, I'm off duty."

    I'm really at the point in this argument where my signature speaks for itself.
    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.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

  19. #69
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    Good catch, Kiwi!

    Here's a quote from cdevoe in another thread:
    I personally don't smoke. I don't believe it helps the firefighter perform better.
    However, having 2, 3, 6, beers; why that's dern near as good as eatin' a power bar!

    How many fireifghters have gone beyond their limits at a fire? Too many.
    Hmm. Yes, you're probably right about that. It's really pretty much the same to go beyond your limits of physical strength or endurance to save someone's life or property, and go jumpin' in the big red truck so's you can play with the woo-woo lights....

  20. #70
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    Default My department and I aren't perfect, but cleary are closer to it than you and yours.

    How about requireing regular PT?
    News flash

    Many departments do require regular PT. We also receive annual physicals. The result. People have been taken off shift until their health improves. Potentially fatal health problems have been discovered.

  21. #71
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    For the record the subject of my last post refers only to cdevoe

  22. #72
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    Unhappy WOW!

    I just got done reading the thread.......... Is this guys real name Alan Baird??????? He seems to be doing a lot of "Bairding"!!!
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    "Not for fame or reward,Not for place or rank. Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity. But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered,sacrificed,dared all, and died. Let us never forget our fallen friends."

  23. #73
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    He has got to have one tooth and six fingers.......
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    Duffman: I wish I was in your department where every thing was perfect. Do you mean to tell me you have never had members who try to go above and beyond the call of duty.

    I would like to think that everyone on my department tries to go above and beyond. We don't freelance however. We work as companies and when the company is sent to rehab, they all go.

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    His logic requires that a brain surgeon have a couple before they probe his brain....
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