1. #1
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    Default Drinking alcohol and driving fire trucks...

    It's been barely a year ago that a beautiful young lady's life was lost in an alcohol related vehicle accident.
    No; a drunk driver didn't cross the center line.
    No; a drunk driver didn't run a red light and hit her.
    AnnDee Huber died because the driver of the tanker in which she was a passenger was legally intoxicated, lost control of the fire truck and rolled it. AnnDee died from her injuries.
    And Ron Caillier went to prison.
    I know this dredges up emotions in many of you, but do you all remember the NATIONAL, PUBLIC OUTCRY after this story hit the wire services? A NATION of firefighters said "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH"! And many departments followed that up with new and tougher policies on drinking and responding. Not just driving, but responding.
    According to the co-founder and publisher of Firehouse.com, AnnDee's story was the most followed story and discussion in the history of Firehouse.com.
    So we know that many knew about it. We also know that the message was sent and that the message was heard...
    Or was it?
    From the Quad City Times:

    Saturday, June 5, 2003

    Firefighter arrested for driving fire truck drunk

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- A Springville volunteer firefighter is charged with drunken driving-in a fire truck.

    Brian Gehl, 37, was arrested by Linn County sheriff's deputies at 9 p.m. on May 28, court records said.

    His blood-alcohol level was 0.158 percent.

    An open can of beer and three unopened cans were found in the fire truck, Sheriff Don Zeller said.

    Gehl was not driving the truck to a fire, Fire Chief Kevin Hulett said.

    "There was simply a truck sitting outside, and he made the call to get in it and take it for a drive," Hulett said. "It's certainly something that is not condoned."

    The Fire Department does not have a written policy for operating equipment while intoxicated, but Gehl may face disciplinary action, Hulett said.

    Springville is 13 miles east of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
    Anyone else got that sick feeling in the pit of their stomach?
    CR
    Last edited by ChiefReason; 06-07-2004 at 09:50 PM.
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    Default

    CR - FYI, there is another thread on this HERE

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    Default I did a search and ...

    77:
    Thanks for the info.
    As a matter of fact, I did a search, but alas, I didn't type in "Here We Go Again".
    In the future, when a firefighter is charged with a DUI, setting a fire or is charged with reckless homicide that results in the death of another firefighter, I will definitely type in "Here We Go Again".
    For the record, I tried to delete the post, but it wouldn't let me.
    Maybe I should do a search to see how that's done.
    But, since I am in the mood to chat, I'd like to say that the chief of this department (Springville) must think in his mind that; since they don't have a policy, this somehow makes it an internal matter.
    I use to communicate with a city council member in Iowa on a regular basis because she was being targeted by certain elements in her community because she raised a concern about her fire department openly drinking at their fire station.
    When she pressed for a policy to address the situation, her house became the target of vandals and of course, she has been labelled an enemy of her fire department.
    It escapes me that morons who call themselves "firefighters" would even attempt to rationalize the appropriateness of drinking and responding to calls.
    Yeah, I know that there have been threads in these forums that have "discussed" how many beers, how many hours; blah, blah, blah and yet, we continue to see it in the news.
    I guess there are still those who think that they are above the law or that they missed the class on common sense.
    Strange!
    CR
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    Default

    DRINKING AND DRIVING ANYTHING IS A NO NO!!!!

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    Default Drinking alcohol and driving fire trucks

    NO - PERIOD !!!

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    Default

    I figured you did do a search. No biggie. Just lettin you know so you could read some of the other responses........

    As afr as the Chief....... Well, I think he needs to go too.........

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    Wink

    and here I thought I had to breakout the WHOOP***** !
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Default

    Originally posted by firenresq77
    CR - FYI, there is another thread on this HERE
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !


    *sigh* After I pasted that quote and the part of Joshie's signature that makes us all chuckle ... I realized I still have no words to describe what I'm feeling. Normally I get somewhat annoyed when I see the same subject on multiple threads. However, how can one ever get annoyed when the subject has to do with the tragic death of Anndee Huber?

    Unfortunately this is not the only incident recently involving firefighters and firetrucks & alcohol.

    What indeed will it take for you to learn?

    Thank you, Art. The original article may be the same but the insight you offer and the intelligent discussion your posts generate definitely puts another spin on it.
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    Default My Random Thoughts

    Time - As time passes the events fade in our memory. Especially those who choose to not remember the events. During the time that passes other events happen and push the olders ones off our current list of things to worry about.

    Tradition & Ignorance - We have always done it/allowed it/blah blah.
    We have never had a problem (yet). They weren't drinking at the fire station, He wasnt driving the fire truck on a actual fire call. (Its ok to drink and cruise in a fire truck I guess)

    Image - To those who don't think the alcohol issue is a problem apparently have no concern for thier image to the public, to other fire departments and other agencies.

    Every discipline of emergency services (Fire, Law, EMS) have folks who suffer from alcohol abuse, substance abuse, etc. BUT the fire service and in particular the volunteer fire service openly accepts alcohol in fire stations and fire dept events. In my short 18 years in the emergency services I have never seen alcohol in a police station or an EMS facility. And the departments I have had the honor of serving with did not allow alcohol on the premises and you didnt respond after drinking. And guess what, we didnt even have a policy that said that... it was the culture of the department, you just didn't do it.

    As I have said before, do we need social events and maybe toss back a few cold ones, SURE. BUT NOT IN A FIRE STATION and dont respond after doing so.

    Art, sometimes we need to dredge up the events and emotions. Otherwise they fall by the wayside and are forgoten about until history repeats itself. Then everyone sits around wondering why we didn't learn the first time.

    Anndees death was spoken of by numerous speakers at several national conferences I attended this past year. But I believe the speakers were preaching to the choir.

    I felt and still feel the emotion of Anndees death. I attended the services in her hometown. I attended the annual Wyoming Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service where her name was etched in granite and her father issued a heartfelt plea for youth programs to contiune.
    I watched as another Explorer (with a large lump in her throat) presented a flag to the family.

    And to top it off, her family will probably be denied the PSOB death benefit and her name will not appear on the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Emmitsburg. Now I know there is some differing opinions there. One being explorers and cadets are not doing firegound functions. Well, alot are. They may not be doing interior attack, but they are filling bottles, rolling hose, setting up lights, etc etc. Whats the difference between that and Fire Police directing traffic? Both are performing vital functions.

    Her death must not be in vain....

    Sorry to ramble on... thanks folks
    Last edited by mtnfireguy; 06-08-2004 at 11:42 AM.
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    Default

    mtnfireguy:
    I can only guess the range of emotions that you feel when your thoughts turn to the death of Anndee Huber. I got emotional just reading about it. I got emotional from hearing that her parents were adamant in their belief that the explorer program should definitely continue. They made their feelings known very succinctly right off the bat. Many departments could have learned from this as they hem hawed around and stirred the dirt with their foot while they contemplated confronting their fire departments with a change in CULTURE! Where many departments could have set the tone and example for many others, they chose to stay the course, maintain the status quo and wait until the controversy died down AGAIN!
    But it seems like in our business, there is always a next time. Another firefighter charged with beating his spouse; another firefighter charged with setting a fire; another firefighter dies in a training exercise and of course, another firefighter is charged with DUI. There will always be a next time until we rid the fire service of these reprehensible, lower than whale scum, selfish, egotistical morons who believe that; because they are willing to put their lives on the line, that gives them a free pass to rape and plunder the public trust!
    Well, I have already said "no more". I am a trustee. The first time will be their last time. Period. No appeal. No second chance. Our second chances all over this country came at the hands of Anndee Huber. The warnings had been there for years and we should have seen Anndee's death coming. But we were too comfortable with the "it can't happen here" syndrome to take any serious steps to make sure that it DIDN'T happen. So it did.
    We have to make sure that it doesn't happen again and it starts with us.
    CR
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    Default Re: I did a search and ...

    Originally posted by ChiefReason
    I use to communicate with a city council member in Iowa on a regular basis because she was being targeted by certain elements in her community because she raised a concern about her fire department openly drinking at their fire station.
    When she pressed for a policy to address the situation, her house became the target of vandals and of course, she has been labelled an enemy of her fire department.
    It escapes me that morons who call themselves "firefighters" would even attempt to rationalize the appropriateness of drinking and responding to calls.CR
    Chief that nut in Elgin's hissy fit was created around her "personal" issues. That beer was in the refrigerator at the fire station was her excuse to throw a public tantrum. All was not as you may have been lead to believe.

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    Angry

    Wrong answer!! Alcohol and Firetrucks do not mix, whether you are going to a fire or not! I have a problem with there being alcohol at the fire station at all! Thats just inviting trouble!

    Come on people, we are supposed to be setting the example!
    "Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death."

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    Alcohol and driving ANYTHING should not happen.


    Maybe the next "fire service related" TV show and/or movie won't involve any alcoholic FF's being portrayed? How is that for a public image?
    "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 In Memory

    Explorer Post #354 President Kelsey Aitchison presents a flag to the family of Anndee Huber. Looking on from the stage are the Wyoming State Fire Marshal Jim Narva and the Governor of Wyoming Dave Freudenthal
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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    Unhappy

    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
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    Default Don't even think about it

    neiowa:
    Don't even think about engaging me in a discussion over beer at the fire station at Elgin, IA.
    I will only say that the "good ole boy" mentality is alive and well in Elgin, IA.
    And I know a lot more about that situation than you think I know. If you know anything about me, it is that I research my topics very thoroughly. I don't dispute the fact that she might not have issues, but that street runs both ways in that town. And the only ones familiar with that situation that seemed to defend it were firefighters or families of the firefighters. I received several emails from several different sources, including the news media, so don't think that it's over someone throwing a public hissy fit. Or that it was a personal vendetta. Someone was attempting to break the cycle and it was very, very unpopular. She may have thrown the hissy fit; but what your "brothers" were throwing was smelly and messy and very unprofessional.
    And that didn't come from her.
    Again; where it is housed, consumed and how much should all be factored in to what we want as an image.
    If we want to be treated like professionals, then we have to act like it.
    Period.
    CR
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