1. #76
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    Default Public Image

    I see a lot of mention on this thread about the public's perception of us (volunteers) as "cellar-savers", "good ol boys drinking", "drunks", etc. While I know 15-20 years ago, that perception was around in my area, I find now that it has vanished. The general public in my area does not think of firefighters in this way at all, in fact, we are very highly respected. I would like to think this is due to our hard work at letting the public know the truth about what we do and making ourselves visible doing it. Are there companies out there who don't put forth their best effort at educating the public about themselves? Are there companies who are not trying show a better public image? Does anyone still have the general poplulation referring to them as cellar-savers and/or drunks and/or just hanging around drinking? Isn't it up to us to clear up these inaccuracies and show a better image?


    PS. cdevoe did not create his fire company, he is a product of what they have been doing long before him. He might not know any other way for a firehouse to run.
    "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?

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    Duffman must be in a paid department. I can just see us trying to get volunteers to pass a PT test, let alone do regular PT.

    Of course, being in this forum is like talking to the wall.

    No amount of logic will work in here.

    So let's ask this question. Does everyone here believe that every fire fighter is working at 100% at every call. This includes mentally and physically. If you can show me that every firefighter has never worked a call at less than 100% then I will give the no beer thing. Unfortunately, I would be willing to bet that 99.987% of all firefighters have worked a call where they didn't have 100% control of the mental and physical state.

    Everyone has days where they just aren't as sharp as the usually are. Everyone has days when their body is depleted, be it from the previous days activities are just an illness. And I guarantee that nearly every fire fighter has responded to a call in a diminished state. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not telling the truth.

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    Public Image is something entirely new. I believe our department simply goes to the local school during fire week. We also have an open house. As far as promoting the image, it doesn't happen. This is a small community, most in the community at least know 1 fire fighter.

    I have heard of talk of a web site for some time. Every time I ask about, so and so is working on it. I'm still waiting. How does one promote a positive image.

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    Just a little more food for thought here. Does anyone do any drug testing? I'm curious because we do all kinds of test and regulation of alcohol, but nothing seems to get done about illegal drugs or the use of prescription drugs. Everyone seems hell bent on the "evils" of alcohol. Nothing else seems to matter.

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    Why ? I don't see where it would matter in your neck of the woods
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    This is a small community, most in the community at least know 1 fire fighter. How does one promote a positive image.
    And if each 1 fire fighter talked to the neighbors on either side of their house, that's 2 more that know. Then go to the next house. Is there a local newspaper? Get articles in there about training that's going on, articles about recent fires. Participate as a company in town events. Don't have any town events? Start some. Simple things, near Christmas, start a town wide Tree Lighting ceremony. Donate a tree to be displayed in front of town hall. Does not have to be a big deal, just gets you out there and seen by the public. Put on public demonstrations of fire activities, burn a car in a parking lot and invite the public to attend and watch. You offer EMS, have a day of blood pressure checkups. Demonstrate EMS skills, offer CPR training, etc. The public is where (I am assuming) a large portion of your money to operate comes from, show them what you do with it, why you want more (we all want more) and how they can help (join as a volunteer).

    You know your area better than I do, think of what goes on and how your department can be involved. Boy/Girl Scout troop sponsors, Baseball team sponsors, etc. Get your name out there and noticed.
    "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?

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    Default Bones; well put!

    Bones:
    I realize Devoe is a product of his environment. I am a product of mine. However, just because I watch the Three Stooges doesn't mean that I am going to put your head in a vise and start cranking the handle. Just because I watch the movie "Backdraft" doesn't mean that I am going to a retirement party and slug it out with another engine company. I noticed that they spent alot of time at the bar, but that's just the movies. Right? AND just because there has always been a refrigerator full of beer at the station house doesn't mean that it HAS TO BE that way!
    Devoe wants to know how to change the image? For chrissakes; when you publicize, promote and project the stereotype that we have been fighting for the last 20 years; why would you expect to change it?
    Devoe; how do you know that there isn't someone from your community sitting there right now in front of their computer reading this and saying "hey, that sounds like our department".
    This thread has not been focused on just the "evils of alcohol". But if you see no problem with guys having 6 beers and responding, then why bother with controlling the other substances?
    And if you want to get into semantics; here's a little something for you. There is a big difference between being physically tired and mentally/physically impaired. Adrenaline kicks in to compensate for tired and sore muscles. It does not compensate for the effects of drugs or alcohol.
    As many have said before; there is not a rational argument for allowing alcohol at the station or allowing members to respond while impaired. Period.
    Maybe you should look at having "designated firefighters". You know; free pop and snacks.

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    Bones.

    Sensible constructive ideas, are you sure your in the right thread.

    ps. and well worth considering them, maybe over a few beers at the "clubhouse"
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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    Bones, Great, thanks for the constructive post. It's great to see something positive amid all of this negativity.

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    Default Let's get some stuff straight

    First of all, thanks Mikey for clarifying to devoe that I'm not a MR.

    Secondly, I DO NOT agree with responding to a call while under the influence, period. Yes, volunteers are on call "whenever" but that doesn't mean that we get to "bypass" the rules and regulations and create our own. What does "history" tell us, poor judgement leads to firefighters dying. There is no need to respond to a call after having some drinks, be an ADULT and "step away from the pager", there will be another call another time, but first you have to ensure that there will be a tomorrow. Responding while under the influence doesn't guarantee you a tomorrow, and I realize that when you go on a call there are no guarantees but your chances of coming home are a hell of a lot better if you respond sober. We all have choices to make in life, I would suggest "choosing" wisely. Do you enjoy what you do, do you want to keep doing it? If you answered yes, DON'T DRINK AND REVIVE ......... Personally I think I'm at my best while sober, but then I'm not everyone else. JMHO
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    Sorry about the mistake P. My bad. I understand your position that a person shouldn't respond while under the influence. However, I question why you stop at alcohol. How about the clowns that are all pumped up on caffeine? What about those on drugs?? If you take one pill should you not respond. And hey, what about the alcohol in Vinegar? Or cough Syrup?

    Remeber, the reason you don't people to show up after drinking is because you think their abilities are impaired. But why do you all limit the impairment to just alcohol.

    I ask that all of you opposed to the alcohol really step back and take a look at all of the other impairments that your members show up with.

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    No, there should not be beer in any fire station. First and foremost, the fire station is a place of business, not a clubhouse for the local rod and gun club. Secondly, how much confidence would be instilled in a visitor to a station asking for help or directions, if they walked into a station and say empty beer cans on the table or in a trashcan. Third, anyone who has imbibed in the partaking of liquid refreshments, do you want that person driving a piece of apparatus or backing you up in a fire, I certainly don't. While some may view their firehouses as their home away from home, or their hangout, keep the alcohol where it belongs- in the corner tavern.

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    Default I cant believe...

    I cant believe this thread. On a lighter note,
    I'll take a Playboy Magazine (no, PA, I did NOT
    say Playgirl) over beer in the station anyday.

    Save that one for another thread.....

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    Unhappy How sad is this.....

    I think we will all hear more from his department........when they KILL one of the people they are supposed to protect.

    Unfortunately, with his type of attitude, nothing short of that type of tragedy will open their eyes.
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    "Professional" isn't just an adjective.

    It's a way of life.

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    Cdevoe, I must say you are the author of some of dumbest comments I have ever read on these forums. I suggest you open your eyes, visit other departments in your state, and along the mid-atlantic region. You will see there are far more volunteer departments that do not allow their members to concume alcohol & respond.

    You stated that you would lose all of your members and that your department could not function. You stated, "isn't better to have some one at 80% capacity that not have them there at all?" To answer the latter question, NO! As for your department not being able to function unless the members can respond with beer breath is something I can not comprehend.

    Your members should be at the station or respond to the station because they have pride in the department and want to help those in your community. Nothing else!! Having alcoholic drinks with your firehouse buddies is fine - away from the firehouse. Get others to cover for those who are out for the evening, weekend, etc.

    Again, this is what many, many volunteer departments do. My department (100% volunteer) does not allow any members to consume alcohol and participate in any emergency functions. We respond to approx. 7,000 fire/EMS calls a year, with an excellent response time. We are usually staffed with 8 guys in the station at all times; the rest respond from home. My point here is that the call load is handled by members who have pride in themselves, the company, the community, and the fire service as a whole. NOT A FREE OR CHEAP BEER!!

    Personally, I like to drink beer with the guys (but more with girls) than anybody. There is nothing wrong with that. It just does not mix with fire suppresion activities.

    Cdevoe: I want you to ask the citizens you protect if they would rather have a firefighter show up that is operating @ 80% because he is drunk or have mutual aid come in operating at 100%. Also, ask them if they would enjoy joining the cops in your town for a couple of beers while they are on duty at the police station. Check to see if your citizens are for teachers being able to drink beer on their lunch break at your local elementary school. Better yet, see if your citizens would mind if doctors at the hospital near you can have a couple of cold ones before operating - tell them you won't smell his breath because he'll have a mask on, so it won't be a big deal.

    Good luck -wherever you're from.

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    He says he's from Earth. I guess he just stepped out for a bit and will come back soon.

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    Some questions here.

    1) How many beers does it take to raise you over the legal limit?
    2) So you are drunk and stupid on scene, hmm public intox.
    3) If your dept. is like mine, you have members under the legal drinking age. Be honest, how hard would it be for them to sneek a beer when someone is not looking?
    4) I used to drink quite heavily, actually I would drink about 10-12 a night, and drive home with no problems, would you say I could function, I could walk a straight line, do the ABC thing, could I function? Oh I forgot judgement was seriously impaired considering I would do just about anything that could get me in trouble. (Only when I had been drinking)

    My dept. is NO DRINKING, it is a great thing. I would probably still drink very heavily if it wasn't for this policy. Oh and for the full-time job thing as of today my dept. has run a mere 380 calls, I have made 208 of them with a full-time job, #1, even more than the Full-Time chief. So that is a B.S. arguement

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    Dear cdevoe,
    I believe that you are suffering from a severe case of rectal/cranial inversion. In other words, you have your head up your a**. I can't believe the lack of rational thought that you seem to be suffering from.
    You stated in an earlier post that you wouldn't want to enter a house with a partner who smokes. While that might make some sense, how much sense does it make to enter with a firefighter who has a good buzz going?
    Also, you asked in an earlier post about how a department goes about building a positive image. Here's an idea: Don't respond to calls under the influence of alcohol.
    I'm beginning to wonder if you've been drinking while posting all of your moronic thoughts and ideas.
    Captain 203
    FF/EMT-CT

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    Devilfyter writes

    No, there should not be beer in any fire station. First and foremost, the fire station is a place of business, not a clubhouse for the local rod and gun club.
    It may not be a clubhouse, but it is certaily a fraternity.

    BATrucknCo Writes

    You stated that you would lose all of your members and that your department could not function.
    Never said we would lose all of our members. What I said (or intended to say) is that any given time (say a Friday night, Saturday, Or Sunday) we could have a large number of our members who have had at least 1 beer or cocktail in the last 8 hours.

    But how about a reality check. The leading cause of death in Fire Fighters is Heart Attack!! Given the choice between a sober guy who smokes 2 packs a day and a healthy guy who has had a couple of beers, I will take the guy with the beers. Of course this relates to going into a burning building. On an EMS call, take the smoker. All he does is create more work. Fact is, if I'm going internal I want the guy that is the least risk. We have a chap who occasionally passes out for no reason. He has been cleared by the doctor to go interior. But he won't be doing it with me. The point being, just because some has had a sip of beer or 3 or 4 beers doesn't make him a risk on the fireground. There are a lot of other bad habits (smoking, poor diet, poor physical condition) that are a far greater danger. Why not address the BIG problems? Or is it they are harder to do anything about?

    Now I think there is another point of clarification required here. We have Fire Houses that are manned (or should I be PC and say personed) full time, other are not manned at all. Some departments are fourtunate and can have a fire house as well as social place. And hey, some fire houses rent out banquet halls for weddings and such. As long as the "Social place" is seperate from the working place, what is the problem??

    It really cracks me up to see the personal attacks on me. Just because I happen to see things differently. Then again, they laughed at the Wright brothers too.

    To clarify once again. A person with 3 or 4 beers is less of a problem than the person who smokes and is in poor health. I'm not talking about the guy who is fall down drunk or who has been drinking all day. Why is it so hard to accept that someone who has been drinking isn't all that big of a risk (except in the Politcally Correct arena of the Courts). The bigger risk comes from the Smokers, Fat People (NO PC Here), and people with poor diets.

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    C.Devoe, Well since it is a fraternity, maybe you could turn the station into a frat house-install a keg and have frat parties in the apparatus bays akin to what was seen in the movie "Animal House". If you feel it is ok to consume alcohol and engage in fireground/ems incidents, then do what you wanna do, because no amount of logical reasoning is gonna make you see the point.

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    "Why is it so hard to accept that someone who has been drinking isn't all that big of a risk (except in the Politcally Correct arena of the Courts)."

    WHY? BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL, AS DEEMED BY SOCIETY AND ENFORCED BY THESE PC COURTS YOU HOLD IN SUCH CONTEMPT
    My apologies for yelling, but arguing a point can be so frustrating sometimes.

    cdvoe, I certainly hope that your Department has a large insurance policy, as it is only a matter of time until you need it.

    1. Excuse me Officer when I walked up to the driver of that Firetruck after the accident to see if he was okay, I could have sworn he had alcohol on his breath. Do you think that could be the reason why he ran that red light and killed that family?

    2. Excuse me Officer, but I could swear I smelled alcohol on the breath of that firefighter who was extricating that patient. Funny, as soon as the firefighter removed him he started screaming that he couldn't feel anything........

    My point is, as soon as you show up to a scene with alcohol on your breath you conduct is suspect if ANYTHING goes wrong. Then it falls to the socalled PC courts to determine your level of blame. You want to take your chances go for it......for me......I'll just try and remember to keep my family away from your end of the state.

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    As much as CDevoe tries to legitimize having a few beers, there's another thing to think about besides the liability to the Department...

    is it worth opening yourself up to criminal charges and a civil suit over responding under the influence?

    I have worked hard for my piece of the American Dream and I am sure that everyone reading this has or is working to achieve that goal...

    is it worth ruining your career and everything you have worked for over a few drinks?

    I think not!

    Use your head...in some cases, it time to pull it out of your arse!
    ‎"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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    Gonz,
    That was my whole point to begin with. This guy is just keeping this up to stir the pot. I have finished posting on this subject.

    How can you get into a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent?

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    Cool

    Our Department banned beer over 10 years ago now, much to the dismay of several members, including our ex- chief (big loss that was ). If anyone here thinks that only a couple of drinks is ok in any situation then you are dead wrong. I have lost two friends over the years in drunk driving accidents. One of which was a driver operating under the legal limit, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't wonder if not drinking those "one or two beers" would still let my friend be here today.

    I pesonally do not drive or respond to calls from the second that I take a drink of alcohol, and I wait a much longer period of time then reccommended before I do finally drive again after drinking (probably why I don't drink often). It is a well know fact in my department that if you are found to be under the influence no matter how little, you will be dealt with harshly. And you had better hope that it is not by me. A matter of fact our commissioners have done away with the DWI clause in our insurance. This means that if you get in to a DWI incident with one of our vehicles the district does not insure you PERIOD!! The district does remain covered however. And I am hoping that after next month we will have a policy in place that if you get into an accident with a department vehicle, a sobriety test is required at the scene. Beleive it or not this is for the FF protection from accusations later.

    Just my LONG two cents worth.

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