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  • Drug testing and driving

    The guys always give me a hard time because I won't take cold medicine when I'm at work (I'm a paid driver). We have a mandatory drug testing policy where the driver is drug tested after any incident involving a fire apparatus. It's just not worth trying to explain/prove that I was only taking OTC cold medication should anything happen. I'd rather just be miserable for the shift.

    I don't come to work if I'm really sick, but when I have a cold I'd love some pseudoephedrine! I know of other drivers who take it when they're sick. I know of one driver who took prescription pain meds while driving. He told me he wasn't worried about it because it was prescription.

    Am I being overly cautious?

  • #2
    All too many prescibers will prescribe stuff FOR you without taking into account what it will do TO you. You have to take the responsibility to make them clearly understand what it is you do, and demand that they take that into consideration.

    Also, insist on knowing what to expect from any med, including interactions with anything else you take. For example, I love grapefruit juice. I had a 12 oz. glass of it every morning with my breakfast. But a few years ago I had to switch to orange juice because one of my meds was affected by grapefruit.

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    • #3
      You also owe it to your company officer to let them know you are talking med's for colds, pain or whatever.

      They are understanding and will not let you drive or operate any apparatus, but may allow you to ride and be part of the team on the scene.


      If you think that you will really be impaired, stay at home and be on sick leave until you are better.

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      • #4
        Well last time I checked, OTC sudafed was not an illegal drug. I'm not sure what you're worried about. And frankly, you are more of a hazard unmediated.
        Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nmfire View Post
          Well last time I checked, OTC sudafed was not an illegal drug. I'm not sure what you're worried about. And frankly, you are more of a hazard unmediated.
          Yep, take the non-drowsy stuff. It won't interfere with your adventures with the little cup.
          I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

          "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

          "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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          • #6
            whatever the drug is you're taking, it'll advise you whether or not to operate/drive a vehicle/machine. use your own judgement. they make non-drowsy meds for these kind of occasions.

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