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  1. #1
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    Default New recruit drug testing and random drug testing

    Are there any volunteer depts. out there that conduct new recriut drug testing and random drug testing for all others? If so, what are the pros and cons on this subject? My dept. is considering implementing one or both. The reason for this is we recently found out that one of our members was using drugs. Any input on this would be greatly appreciated and helpful to us in making the decision to implement the program or scrap the idea.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber Airborne's Avatar
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    Part of our initial physical is a Drug Test. I do not see any minuses to drug testing, and I think that an officer should always have the right to request one for an individual at any time along with the random and the initial mandatory.


    Fire and drugs is a NO NO and you don't know what the other guy was doing at home before showing up for a fire, last thing you need is someone having flash backs at a fire scene.

    Of course Acid and Shrooms can no be detected in a **** test(I don't think they can) But you get the idea.

  3. #3
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    We are tested as we join and then again if involved in an accident (motor vehicle) or make a mistake that leads to injury.

    As for random or by supervisor request I am for and against. If a supervisor can request at will it could create a black eye for the employees file. Random I have no problem with as it keeps everyone honest and on their toes.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber Airborne's Avatar
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    These things should never go into a personís record unless there is a positive hit.

    And an officer best have a good reason to be handing out a test other then he does not like the guy. These are reasons that departments should be careful in their selection of officers. But I don't think that it would cause mistrust in the ranks. Might **** someone off for a little while, but it is better to be ****ed off then ****ed on.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber e3med53's Avatar
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    I know a guy who gets picked every single year for "random" screenings. He has never tested positive either. He's been tested so many times he helps the nurse fill out the paper work.
    "Some days your the dog, some days your the hydrant"

  6. #6
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    Guys, let's not forget that this is a public forum and we are supposed to be professionals. The word is urine.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airborne View Post
    Part of our initial physical is a Drug Test. I do not see any minuses to drug testing, and I think that an officer should always have the right to request one for an individual at any time along with the random and the initial mandatory.


    Fire and drugs is a NO NO and you don't know what the other guy was doing at home before showing up for a fire, last thing you need is someone having flash backs at a fire scene.

    Of course Acid and Shrooms can no be detected in a **** test(I don't think they can) But you get the idea.
    It would be irresponsible for anyone to show up on scene under the effects of shrooms and/or acid. Marijuana is the only exception in my mind since it's non-lethal, but I would never advise anyone to go into the fireground under the influence under any drug that renders you psychologically, cognitively, or physically impaired.

    Shrooms comes up as food poisoning when someone is tested.

  8. #8
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    DoD labs test 60,000 urine samples each month. All active duty members must undergo a urinalysis at least once per year. Members of the Guard and Reserves must be tested at least once every two years. There are several protections built-in to the system to ensure accurate results.

    First, individuals initial the label on their own bottles. The bottles are boxed into batches, and the test administrator begins a chain-of-custody document for each batch.

    Drug Rehab

  9. #9
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    I have no problem with drug testing on a random basis. We are career and we get tested on hire and after any accident or serious injury.

    However, I support the way the military (Army at least) does it also. There is a program that generates a truly random list of individuals that will be tested monthly. No one in the unit gets this list until a few hours before the test (which is held on a random date in the month). The individuals are locked down until they provide a sample. If a Commander (Officer) wants to test a specific individual they must have darn good documentation showing a history of behaviors that indicates a strong probability of drug use. If someone has tested positive, then they are placed on a "probation" and must attend counseling and have regular testing for the next year or so. Certain drugs automatically lead to getting discharged from the Army and also certain ranks (senior sergeants and officers) have a zero tolerance policy.

  10. #10
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Here we get drug tested during the hiring process and 3 or 4 names are pulled randomly each month to go get tested. We also have post-accident/injury testing as well.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  11. #11
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    Oh Heck, the only way to fight a fire is to be smashed on something to make it funner. Wished I had the discipline to take a big swig of something before heading out the door after getting toned out. I would think you would sober up fast anyway from all the adrenaline. Too bad being a non drinker or doer of anything spoils chances of failing a drug test. Failing one might even give me a chance for a reputation as everyone who knows me goes. "He did, I don't believe it!"

    I will say this however being a former employer and boss. Drug testing can be a legal minefield if you are not up to date if someone wants to contest the testing process itself. There has to be cause. Even a pre-screen process can cause problems, especially with a volunteer department. Even career departments run into problems. Working in the control room of a nuclear power plant is different than fire station and that is where certain laws come into effect with drug screening. Driving an apparatus in not being in control of a nuclear reactor.

    I recommend leaving the drug screen tests out of the operations all together unless there is cause, say an accident or someone finds drug stuff at the station. Might be too much money involved and once you start you may have to continue the process.

    Caution on such things.

  12. #12
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    I work at an all paid fire dept. New hires are tested initially and then every year during their physicals. If your involved in an accident then you MAY be tested. We also have a "reasonable suspicion" policy that involves at least two officers evaluating the suspected employee utilizing a pre-approved criteria document. All employees that are scheduled for physicals get tested and then they (administation) also have the right to include a limited number of employees that were not scheduled. The policy seems to work well and has very little opposition.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    We don't test at the fire department, and unless someone is involved in an incident where intoxication may be an issue (ie, DWI), I don't see it coming soon.

    I also volunteer on a tourist railroad. We are subject to an initial drug test as well as random tests through the year. The testing is conducted by an independent third party which specializes in such testing. When they show up, their list usually has duty positions, not names, as we don't always know everyone who will be working. They do a urine test as well as a breathalizer.

    When I was in USAF some years ago, we'd get the occasional call to provide a sample. After getting tagged three times in as many months (they went by the last two numbers of your SSAN), I asked how the numbers were picked. The testing officer showed me their convoluted method of selecting the numbers, which involved dates, books of random numbers, and other factors I forget.

    The reason I was in his office was because they invariably called right after one did one's morning duty. Unable to produce a sample, I was advised to go have a beer and then go to his office...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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