Beer ban...it's about time
I just read the article on WI volunteer fire departments banning beer in the firehouse. I say bravo, and what took so long. I am a formber member of a VFD and dealt with this issue head on with the department trustees. One night after consuming more than a few beers a department officer decided to take in a MVC. The drunk driver who tried to park his car in the woods was combative and refused to let go of the steering wheel. The drunken captain decided that a 4 ft. pry bar might persuade him. I had to have another officer remove him from the area. When I addressed this issue to those in charge, what do you think they did. Yep....not a thing!
It is about time people realize the responsibility they have when they join ANY fire department. I challenge anyone to justify having alcohol available in the firehouse.
I have heard all of the excuses and so called justifications. None of them hold water.
So, what you're saying is......
So, what you're saying is that you don't want alcohol at the fire station?
I am going to play devil's advocate and pose some questions to you all.
Here in Illinois, the LAW says that fire departments can hold six(6) fundraisers a year at which alcohol can be served. They recommend getting the proper insurance.
Is it really an issue of beer at the station or one of self control?
How many of you have firefighters who show up on meeting or training night after they have been drinking? How many have responded to a call after they have been drinking? How many of you have had a fundraiser where you didn't sell alcohol, but your people were drinking as they served up the chili or chicken or whatever you were cooking and selling?
Why does it make any difference if they drink at home, the tavern or the fire station? That fact is that some cannot use self control and limit their intake.
Having beer at the fire station is a public perception problem. It damages the image when someone in the community can blame a poor performance by their fire department on excessive drinking. And when it is kept at the station, it significantly magnifies the problem.
Keeping the beer at the fire station is a matter of convenience. For departments who drink alot, it is also cheaper. In my early days, the old guys would tell me that nothing cuts through the taste of smoke like a cold beer. Well, they must have taken in alot of smoke and had a terrible taste, because normally, they would drink until there was no more to drink! Then the arguments would come; guys would get mad at each other; someone would throw their badge on the table, curse the department and then, after a sobering moment, they were back on.
I am not a purist. I enjoy a brewski. I am also keenly aware that people count on their firefighters to make good decisions during an emergency. It should not be done while under the influence of alcohol.
Volunteers constantly **** and moan about getting respect from the career guys. Vollies want to be called "professionals". But not if it means getting rid of the beer at the station. We tell ourselves that we spend as much time at the station as we do our "real" job. To us, firefighting is a job. Well, how many employers allow alcohol to be stored in the fridge at work?
Departments will do what they want. Some will keep the beer at the station. Others will have someone get upset and the beer will be banned from the station. Still others will battle with people showing up while under the influence. There is no easy solution, but a solution must be found.
If you got on the department so you could sit at the station and drink, I will suggest that you choose a new hobby such as bartender.
Just my opinion. I could be wrong.
Are you high or been drinking???
Oh my god, I cant believe what that person typed.
Originally posted by cdevoe
I don't recommend doing EMS calls after a
couple but (simply because of the law suits)
fighting fire is no big deal.
You just set all Volunteer Firefighters back 30
years, good job. Yeah, fighting fire is no big
deal..BS! Its comments like that hurting our
industry. Paid guys have standards but the
Volunteers dont??? Because of staffing? What
back woods, country bunkin town you from?
Its OK to drink a little on a brush fire???
Please tell me you are just yankning our chains!
GET A CLUE PAL!
As I will say it, even though I am gonna catch heat-
This is one tradition I am glad to see go away. Again,
tradition is nice, but I/we gotta live in the now.