1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by sklump
    I don't think this is a paid volunteer thing, paid fire dept. like Chicago have also had beer in the house.
    When was the last time you were in Chicago drinking in a firehouse???
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    Obviously you don't know better.
    Righto, then. Keep telling yourself that. The fact is that YOU ought to know better.

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    I DO know better. And people that DO NOT have all the information or facts should not sit in judgement. There are always two sides to every story and we all know that the media will jump on the first piece of information that they get and run with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    I make a motion that all"FIBS" boycott Wisconsin for a year. I am sure our money is not needed or welcome there.
    I'm with ya Mike.
    I'm sorry that I have to do it, but I just scratched off House on the Rock as a motorcycling destination for this summer. My money will stay in Illinois.
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  5. #55
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    I am officially calling off my self-proclaimed boycott of Wisconsin. I have had a ton of fun in the Badger State over the years. Back in 1982, I saw my first Grateful Dead concert at Alpine Valley. I hung around Marquette and was able to legally drink. The stayed 19 up there until I turned 21. Caught a few crappie and plenty more bottle bass. Almost hit a logging truck head-on while taking 141 north of Green Bay...Totally my fault to boot. If you want to really make me get irate, use the term "FIB" There are plenty of jerks fron Illinolis. Every state has them. But it is much more a lively subject north of the border. Relax Wisconsin. A lot of Illini can't stand "Chicago People" either. I happen to be one and not self-hating, so I think we are ok most of the time. I still laugh when I remember that bar conversation.. Where the hell did they think I was from? If you know me, you know I have a straight out southsider accent. If you could have seen the looks on their faces after the whole FIB thing was discussed and I broke the news to them that yes indeed, that guy that you were having a roaring good time with was a FIB! So in the spirit of the holiest times of years for many of us out there I say, go visit the Dells. Go up to Minoqua and catch a big musky. Go to Door County and be a yuppie or Koehler and be a big shot. PEACE
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDNJFF
    Manning of volunteer stations are hard enough these days and you start taking away all perks and imagine what can happen.
    I would imagine the townsfolk would have to come to grips with reality and have a paid department where two things can be assured.

    a.) They show up when called.

    b.) They aren't under the influence because it ISN'T social hour.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86
    I would imagine the townsfolk would have to come to grips with reality and have a paid department where two things can be assured.

    a.) They show up when called.

    b.) They aren't under the influence because it ISN'T social hour.
    c.) And their taxes would be so high that no one would be able to afford to live in the town anymore!!!!!

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    Just a side note, paid department near me runs 1 engine with 2 guys. Vol's are running 2 or 3 with 4-6 guys each.

    Which would you rather have?


    i'll quote myself....
    It's really simple, don't drink and respond. Whether you drink at home, at a bar, at your friends, at work, at the firehouse, at the police station, etc. DON'T DRINK AND RESPOND.
    "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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    Thumbs down Prohibition is Alive and Well.

    I find it hard to believe that the storage and consumption of alcohol during social events in the club house at the fire station is an issue. I would have hoped that this temperance ideology would have died out with the generation that forced us into prohibition.

    There is no doubt that alcohol consumption isnít something to be taken lightly. But in this age, there is no room for intolerance and an immoderate view of alcohol. Everything should be embraced and enjoyed in moderation.

    If liability is really the concern here, then we would worry more about volunteers who respond from home. A person responding from home may very well have been drinking and their mental state is unknown to others. An individual drinking during a fire dept social event, is known and governed by other dept members. In either case, the dept and the community can count on members to be responsible.

    Heart disease is the number one killer of firefighters, and heart disease is linked to obesity. Does this mean that we shouldnít allow eating at fire station events either? No! Eating, like drinking should be done in moderation.

    Children of the temperance movement need to realize that alcohol can be enjoyed moderately by responsible adults in any setting.

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    Default Ray

    Don't buy your argument at all Ray.

    Eating too much doesn't impair your judgement, drinking too much does. I've never heard of a lawsuit involving a firefighter had had been eating, I have heard of one involving one who'd been drinking.

    Want to be a firefighter, join the fire department.

    Want to belong to a social club, join the Rotary or Lions club.

    Want to drink with fellow firefighters, go to a bar or a private home. Thats what we do in our part of Wisconsin and its doesn't bother anybody.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Just a side note, paid department near me runs 1 engine with 2 guys. Vol's are running 2 or 3 with 4-6 guys each.

    Which would you rather have?


    i'll quote myself....
    It's really simple, don't drink and respond. Whether you drink at home, at a bar, at your friends, at work, at the firehouse, at the police station, etc. DON'T DRINK AND RESPOND.
    I'll just requote you again.

    I guess things are just different in our neck of the woods Bones.
    Last edited by BFDNJFF; 04-14-2006 at 05:22 AM.
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  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by StillLearning
    Don't buy your argument at all Ray.

    Eating too much doesn't impair your judgement, drinking too much does. I've never heard of a lawsuit involving a firefighter had had been eating, I have heard of one involving one who'd been drinking.
    My argment actually called for moderation. Moderation in the consumption of alcohol, and moderation in our view of alcohol. Calling for no alcohol is extreme and simply panders to the puritanical.

    The reference to over eating was a hyperbole. Your counter argument isn't altogether true, however; eating too much does impair your judgement and ability to react.

    We live in a lawsuit happy society and it's only a matter of time before some ambitious lawyer figures out how to sue an overweight firefighter for not being on top of his game.

    I addressed the liability issue when I discussed firefighter drinking at home. Would the fire department be any less liable if I respond to a call after drinking at home? No!

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    There is almost certainly a higher degree of liability related to being the licensed "server" or otherwise the provider of the alcohol.

    I agree to some extent with Ray that there is over-zealous campaigns against alcohol. However, I really see no need for it in a firehouse (my station has been dry, with the exception of the annual banquet night when special response protocols are in place, since 1947).

    It's ready availability, in a social setting, in the firehouse makes it too tempting and too easy to abuse. Funny thing about alcohol is it's ability to impair your judgement before you realize it Go home, go to a bar.

    I'm not clear in this case the exact nature of the request -- if it's to support a social hall that renters wish to be able to have a bar service in, I'm not opposed to it. If it's for a bar regularly used by the firefighters, no need for it.

  14. #64
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    Default Enjoy Responsibly?

    In our neck of western Wisconsin, beer/booze was at one time the norm in the firehouse. We don't have a social hall or even a meeting room. Everything is done right on the apparatus floor.
    Next came moderation - no more than two beers. More than that, you don't ride the truck. Many lost count - just like on the cop shows when the officer asks how many have you had to drink. Answer is most always 2. Moderation doesn't work either.
    Next came zero tolerance and it is working great. Nobody quit and in fact most of our people find themselves drinking less. I'm not a prude or a saint - I like my beer now and again and every so often a lethal dose of 7&7's. No pager, no car keys, and no one to blame but myself.

    RoadsideRay: I'm not going to attempt a battle of words with you as you represent yourself as being well-read. I disagree completely however with your opinion of moderation. No alcohol 'ever' is extreme. No alcohol in your system when responding to a call is just plain better business. If you have been drinking, don't show up at our station. period.

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    Children of the temperance movement need to realize that alcohol can be enjoyed moderately by responsible adults in any setting.
    Any setting? I don't think so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadsideRay
    Calling for no alcohol is extreme and simply panders to the puritanical.
    In a private setting...I agree. However, in a public building, with hundreds of thousands of dollars of publically owned equipment, in an atmosphere where you are under the microscope of public viewing and perception..... No alcohol is not only good business, it's the right thing to do.

    Take it to the extreme..... If your argument were valid, then why not allow a quick beer in the teachers lounge at your school (after hours of course, and naturally the teacher wouldn't be allowed to teach for 8 hours after the beer), but why not allow the beer in the lounge....after all that's the teachers "social area". Or how about a kegger in the break room at the local police station (for after hours of course...)...

    I'd hate to be the parent of an 8-year old, who comes home after a cub scout field trip to the fire station and says..... "boy I wanna be a firefighter when I grow up... you get to drive cool red trucks...where neat fireman clothes....and the bar at the station is better than anyplace around town"

  17. #67
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    I agree. We don't respond to calls under the influence of alcohol; whether we have been drinking during social events in the Fire Station clubhouse, or at home.

    I would like to emphasize that there is a difference here! Members of the Palmyra Fire Department do NOT drink during Department work details, trainings, and business meetings. We do NOT respond to calls under the influence of alcohol. Sobriety and responsibility is mandatory.

    Quote Originally Posted by quietone
    No alcohol in your system when responding to a call is just plain better business. If you have been drinking, don't show up at our station. period.

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    I agree entirely with what Quietzone said. I'm in Minnesota, with plenty of time spent in Wisconsin, so I know the drinking atmosphere. If the legal limit to drive your CAR is .08, what about driving a hundred foot ladder truck? Now I'm not a teetotaler by any means - I love taking advantage of Blue Brick's $6 pitchers of Long Island on a Wednesday night - but not when I'm on call. If you're on call, DON'T DRINK. If you're on call and you do drink, DON'T RESPOND.

    It comes down to this. What good are you going to be? None. What harm can you cause? Death - yours, a citizen's, or a fellow firefighter\EMT\cop. Destruction of property - be it someones vehicle, the truck or engine you're driving, or the street sign you run over with said truck or engine.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameryfd
    Take it to the extreme..... If your argument were valid, then why not allow a quick beer in the teachers lounge at your school (after hours of course, and naturally the teacher wouldn't be allowed to teach for 8 hours after the beer), but why not allow the beer in the lounge....after all that's the teachers "social area".
    I agree, and I wouldn't have any problem with that. Those decisions are up to the school board. I would expect that teachers drinking in the teacher's lounge after hours would do so responsibly.

    Quote Originally Posted by ameryfd
    Or how about a kegger in the break room at the local police station (for after hours of course...)...
    If the Police Chief did allow a kegger at the Police Station, I'm sure there would be limitations placed on its access. Just as there are limitations at the fire department.

    Quote Originally Posted by ameryfd
    I'd hate to be the parent of an 8-year old, who comes home after a Cub Scout field trip to the fire station and says..... "Boy I wanna be a firefighter when I grow up... you get to drive cool red trucks...where neat fireman clothes....and the bar at the station is better than anyplace around town"
    A Cub Scout field trip to the station wouldn't see a "bar" or any alcohol. It's all discretely in a cabinet under lock and key for access only during special events. We don't have beer lights or bar stools or anything that detracts from the overall theme of firefighting and EMS.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameryfd
    then why not allow a quick beer in the teachers lounge at your school (after hours of course, and naturally the teacher wouldn't be allowed to teach for 8 hours after the beer), but why not allow the beer in the lounge....after all that's the teachers "social area". Or how about a kegger in the break room at the local police station (for after hours of course...)...
    When's the last you spent any time in a teachers lounge? Do you REALLY know what goes on there after hours? Funny, just this morning I was reading about another LEO up for charges on their SECOND DUI conviction. They ain't no saints. Cub Scout/Girl Scout trips to the firehouse in my area go no further than the truck bays cuz that's what they are there to see. Firetrucks and their equipment. Once in a while, they go into our meeting hall and see a video presentation.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadsideRay
    My argment actually called for moderation. Moderation in the consumption of alcohol, and moderation in our view of alcohol. Calling for no alcohol is extreme and simply panders to the puritanical.
    I can safely say in my 50+ years you are the first person who has ever compared me to being a puritan.

    Thank you for that, whatever it was.
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    RoadsideRay:

    After a weekend training or work detail and the social event begins, I would assume (and I know that is not always safe) that a few of the participants break out the beers to quench a thirst and socialize. With that being said, when the next call comes in during this socialization time, can you without a doubt and with 100% certainty absolutely declare that only those that had not been drinking AT ALL are going to be the ones responding? If you can, kudos to you and your department. What about when the trucks come back to the station? Do they offer to help clean and repack hose and other equipment? Isn't this "in the performance of their duties/response"? How about the guys that think, well it's only a grass fire and I've only had one or two - I'll be OK to respond and help out? If at no time do the ones that had anything to drink help out at all, again kudos.

    Mixing any alcohol and any firefighting activities is not too smart. There are too many injuries and deaths (volunteer and career) each year. We don't need to take the additional risk of adding to those numbers. I don't think that there is any reasonable way existing that can justify the argument supporting alcohol in the fire station.

  23. #73
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    The bigger issue here is that of image...

    Sure, liability is a concern, but as some pointed out, a guy can drink at home and make the bad choice of responding. So, let's look at image.

    Image is perception...how professionally you present yourself determines how professionally you'll be treated. There is also annecdotal evidence, if not scientific evidence, that a professinal image leads to professional performance. Image, that is perception, is also a difficult thing to measure and even a more difficult thing to change. All of us know, for example, a person that made a poor first impression on us, and who has probably never recovered from that initial perception. Regardless of what he (or she) may do in the future, it will always be clouded by our perception. So, what can take years to build up into a positive image can be destroyed in just minutes by negative perception. Recovering that can take years, assuming it can be recovered at all.

    If you accept that image is perception, then the next concern is perception is reality. Connect the dots, and image is reality...and the question is, what image (and therefore reality) to you want to present to the public and your brothers in the service?

    A local cop recently drove his take-home cruiser after a few drinks. He was not legally intoxicated. However, he drove a police car after drinking. The issue was not where he went (a girl's house) or what he did (nothing police oriented)...the issue was perception. And the endless "what if"...what if he had to make a traffic stop on a dangerous DUI? What if a woman came running to his car to escape a rape-in-progress? What if...what if...what if....and what if it happened and the citizen smelled beer? Because the perception would be bad, the reality would be bad...the man was asked to resign.

    I admit that when beer was taken out of my old firehouse 12 years ago, I was upset. But I look back on it now, slightly wiser, and wish that we had done it sooner. Image...perception...reality. Make all three "professional"...and you can't do that with beer in the firehouse.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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    Default Questioning the "social" nature of the fire department

    The general impression I get at my combination paid/volunteer department is that, while we enjoy socializing with our fellow firefighters, the station is not your livingroom (even though both have couches and TVs). With the exception of two events each year (the Christmas party and the St. Paddy's party), both of which are held at the hall nextdoor rather than in our actual station, it is assumed that any time you are at the station you are available and ready to jump on the engine if we are toned. If we are there cooking lunch or studying or training or just chatting and joking, our turnouts are ready and our gear bags on the engine.

    This has never been explicitly stated to me, just a feeling I have picked up over the last two years. The policy is no alcohol at our station, but in reality it goes deeper than that. Many of us live within walking distance of the station. We would not drink a couple of beers at home and then walk over to the station to socialize. I cannot picture the tones going off and anyone being there and not getting in gear because he or she had been drinking. I guess it wouldn't be an actual breach of policy, but it would definitely be seen as flaky, unprofessional, and rather rude to the other FFs who are responding to the call. If you're not in a state to respond, you shouldn't be there - the exception being if you have an injury that prevents you from responding, of course you aren't banned from our sight because of it.
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    With that being said, when the next call comes in during this socialization time, can you without a doubt and with 100% certainty absolutely declare that only those that had not been drinking AT ALL are going to be the ones responding?
    Can you, without a doubt and with 100% certainty absolutely declare that those responding from home/bar/restaraunt/etc had not been drinking AT ALL?
    "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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