Sample Drug and Alcohol Policy for Fire Departments

The Scott Volunteer Fire Department in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, has a comprehensive written drug and alcohol policy that can serve as an example for other departments to follow. Thanks to Fire Chief Norwood J. Menard for allowing us to post their internal policy.

The Policy

No member of the Scott Volunteer Fire Department, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, will be permitted to make any emergency dispatches.

  • No member shall consume or make visible any alcoholic beverages or illegal substances at any Fire Station, or any Fire Ground, or Training Operations.
  • The Officer in charge will take the appropriate actions on the fire scene and bring the charges to the Board of Directors to discuss, then their suggestion brought to the membership for disciplinary actions.
  • It is the intent of this policy to keep the Scott Volunteer Fire Department in the highest standards that can be set forth by our profession. We must recognize the responsibility and obligation to conduct our personal and professional life with scrupulous attention to the trust and confidence, which this Community and Organization requires.

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This organization intends to ensure a safe and productive environment. Accordingly, policy prohibits being under the influence, use, possession, transportation, promotion, or sale or illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia, or other wise legal but illicitly used substances by any member while on organization business or premises. This includes prescribed, over the counter drugs not being used for their intended or authorized purpose and abusive use of alcohol.

Testing by urinalysis may be required of a member. Immediate medical attention will be requested and testing may occur when factors such as physical appearance, behavior, or other circumstances give good faith reason to question whether substance abuse may be a factor. A member to me tested will be requested to sign a written consent to the test procedures and to the restricted release of test results.

Failure to sign written consent will result in immediate suspension, pending an investigation. Use, possession, transportation, promotion, or sale of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia, or otherwise legal, but illicitly used substances will result in immediate suspension, pending an investigation.

If a member's test result is confirmed to me positive, it will be given consideration by the officers in determining any discipline for the event or circumstances which led to the test. If continued in membership, the member will be required to cooperate with Department-approved medical evaluation and prescribed treatment. '

The member may also be required to participate in follow-up activities, which may include further evaluation, treatment and/or counseling. Additionally, the member will be subject to unannounced substance abuse testing during the 12 month period following the positive test. A member who fails to follow the requirements of this policy or whose suspension is upheld will be subject to disciplinary action up to an including termination of membership.

The Executive Board or Line Officers may take disciplinary action against a member based on the nature and severity of the offense. Offenses include, but are not limited to Intoxication or use of controlled substances (drugs). Includes the use of intoxicants at a fire or medical call or attending a fire or medical call with the smell of alcohol on clothes or breath.