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  • Beer in the Firehouse - Is it Ok?

    I'm surprised this hasn't headlined here at firehouse.com.

    Recently, the Onarca(spelling might be wrong) Fire Department in central Illinois has been accused of drinking beer during firehouse meetings. A 'former' police officer (see: fired) took a video camera in and shot footage of firefighters drinking in the firehouse, talking about responding to calls while drinking, and having a vending machine with beer in it inside the firehouse.

    When a local news station interviewed some people who live in the town, one made the comment, "They've never been called out on a meeting night," , or something to that affect.

    Do you allow alcohol in your firehouse? What are your rules on it? Thoughts? Debate!

    APG1, always causing controversy!

    P.S. This is not meant to inflame, insult, or tarnish the Ornarca (I can never spell it right) fire department. I have worked side by side with them in the past and they are a very good department.


  • #2
    We have a ZERO tolernace for alcohol in the station. we'd probaly get kicked out for bringing it in. so what if theyve never had one on a meeting night? theres a first time for everything. if we could predict fires, there wouldnt be any. i think its a disgrace. however if a person wants to drink off duty (i do mysef) then more power to em.
    but as far as mixing alcohol with lifesaving operations.......NO! no if, and's or butts.

    Comment


    • #3
      A few Departments around my area have a few on meeting night, because its pretty much a night out for the guys...also when they do have meeting night..they have a Crew dedicated to the truck..any alarms they go...anyone who has been drinking STAYS in teh firehouse...So before hte meeting starts...a crew of 6 guys are asked to be on Standby if theres a fire....and to stay sober...This is how those depts do it...its mainly the older guys that dont respond anymore who have a few cold ones during the meeting..all the younger guys dont even bother.. But I remember a company that USED TO have a vending machine like that..but the only beer its popping out is Root beer and Birch Beer...Having beer in a vending machine...now thats just asking for trouble....

      ------------------
      Andrew
      South Amboy, New Jersey
      Explorer Engine 6 So. Amboy Fire Dept & Cadet Morgan FAS
      "EMTS DON'T DIE THEY JUST STABILIZE"
      http://engine058.boltpages.com/southamboyfiredepartmentexplorerpost6/

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      • #4
        NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO and NO.......

        WHAT PART OF "NO" CONFUSES ANYONE??? IS IT THE "N" OR IS IT THE "O"??????

        Beer or alcohol does not belong in the firehouse. Volunteer, career.....NO NO NO!!!! I don't care if it's meeting night and there is a dedicated crew. The volunteer fire service already has a tarnished enough image in society.....To tarnish that image even further is asenine!!! And not only does it look less than favorable upon the community's eyes, it is creating a MASSIVE liability!! I don't care if you can handle 3 beers....I DO NOT WANT YOU COMING TO MY FIRE ON A MUTUAL AID PIECE WITH ONE BEER IN YOU!!! All these companies state "There is a dedicated crew, and those who have indulged are not allowed to respond." Fine....Ok....Then why in the hell have a bar in the station?? What good is it?? And who is buying the beer anyways?? Tax money?? Donations?? Tell THAT to the little old lady down the street that just wrote a check for $10.

        You can argue all you want. You can give me a thousand reasons why beer is ok in the station. You can quote all the SOP's you want from your "wet" fire departments rules for those who have taken a drink on meeting night. Do all you want. I will not change my mind. And there are still certain companies in Montgomery County, Pa. that have bars.....WAKE UP GUYS!!! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!

        ------------------
        "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

        Comment


        • #5
          I used to be a member of a department that had beer as one of the selections in the soda pop machine. I haven't checked for a while, but I would assume it has been removed by now.

          This is also the same department where most members who attended training night, found themselves at the local "watering hole" afterwards. I'm not sure which sends a worse message, having firefighters in the station having a few beers, or hearing the fire siren blow and watch them all scramble from the local bar, get in their cars and responding to the station.

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          • #6
            Absolutely Not!

            ------------------
            Firefighters: rising to accept the challenge!
            Captain Gonzo

            Comment


            • #7
              Both our halls have vending machines with beer in them. We have strict rules on where, when beer is consumed. No beer outside the meeting area, no beer consumed until the meeting is officially adjurned, limit of two beers. I don't drink so it isn't an issue for me though a few would like the machines removed.

              Comment


              • #8
                I Think this question has come up before but I may be wrong....I agree that the Volunteer Side of Firefighting already has a Bad Reputation with a good portion of the general public as being a bunch of Drunks and Arsonists. I Personally feel that Beer or any other Type of Alcohol Consumed in A Fire Station { Volunteer } should be regulated with Strict Rules as to when, where, and how much can be consumed -- Here's the Reason I say This -- In most Volunteer Fire Stations Mainly Beer is allowed { Such as in my own } It has been around for Decades and like someone else aready said It's like a night out with the boys and will probably always be around ! Compared to what it was 15 and 20 Years Ago I think more and more Firefighters that par take in Firehouse Spirits Today Realize the consuquenses of being intoxicated -- Back in another Time it was not un-common to see a truck full of guys half shot in the ***.

                Now in a Career Department I would have to Say Absolutley No Way. I don't say this to make war between Vollies and Career Firefighters but seriously think about it, If you were a Shop Keeper or Car Salesman, Or Whatever you are not permitted to drink while working/earning a salary so why would a career firefighter be any diffrent ? It really isn't the Image becoming of a paid city/county employee { Drink after your tour}

                Is it right or is it wrong for Firefighters either Career or Volunteer to Consume Beer and/or other Spirits in the Station ? Can't say I agree or dis-agree mainly because I'm not a drinker and rarley have beer at home let alone the station. However, I already said it --- Beer in the Fire House has been around for a long long time and will probably always be there but to those who do par take in those meeting night "thirsties" remember no matter the amount of alcohol you consumed it is still present in your system and if for some reason god-for-bid you go to the hospital for an injury they take blood and it will show up --- Some Fire Companies Insurance Companies will not pay if alcohol is present.....Just something to think about....Peace to All and my Sincere appoligies if I ticked anyone off no finger pointing was intended

                ------------------
                STRATFORD FIRE CO. # 1 NEW JERSEY STATE FIREMEN'S CONVENTION OVER-ALL CHAMPIONS 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2000 !!

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                • #9
                  NO

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                  • #10
                    NO ! I don't want anyone who has been drinking on my fire scene.If you want to stop at the local watering hole that's fine but when a call comes in keep your butt at the hole.No one needs to be on a call with 1 beer in them.As for beer in the fire house, hell no.

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                    • #11
                      Letting any type of alcohol consumption occur in any firehouse is just asking for an ***-load of trouble. How can any department be so irresponsible as to let members drink in a station, meeting or no? It boggles the mind...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Brian Dunlap- I have a question.

                        What difference does it make- Volly or Career?? Technically and legally, volunteer firefighters are considered (uncompensated) employees of the department/community/municipality in which they serve. This goes for workman's comp, Liability insurance issues, etc etc..... What difference does it make if I am a career firefighter dinking a budweiser in the kitchen, or a volunteer drinking in the kitchen??

                        NO BEER IN THE FIREHOUSE!

                        ------------------
                        "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

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                        • #13
                          NO WAY. wE HAVE ENOUGH PROBLEMS WITH OUR PUBLIC IMAGE.

                          ------------------
                          Asst Chief Jim Kron

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                          • #14
                            Army... I'll take a hit at your question to Brian. First, as previously mentioned, all volunteer stations, that I know of, that allow drinking have duty crews who are not permitted to drink. If you're in a career department, YOU ARE the duty crew. There's your difference.

                            Personally, I have no problem with having beer in a volunteer firehouse, as long as duty crews are on. I do NOT feel that members that have been drinking (drunk or not) should be allowed on apparatus. We are all adults (hopefully mature ones) and can reasonably be expected to have a measure of common sense and common sense says (or it SHOULD say) that if you've had a beer you're NOT making this call.

                            Let's think about this another way, here's a scenario...

                            You're sitting around the house on a nice spring day having a few beers and doing yard work or some other chore and your pager goes off. Do you go?

                            This is where common sense kicks in. Whether you're at the station or at home, YOU have to be responsible for yourself and your own actions. Nobody can tell you that you can't have a few beers in your own home but, you're expected to use sound judgment on whether to go or not. Now, don't get me wrong, I think there should be strictly enforced penalties for even attempting to make a call when drinking but, I don't see how having beer in your firehouse is a problem as long as you treat it responsibly and have duty crews.

                            Let the replies begin...hehehehehe

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              One thing to think about is your loved ones. There is a federal death benefit given to the survivors of Firefighters killed in the line of duty.It's a fairly substantial amount of money. If after the autopsy there is a presence of alcohol in the deceased's body, the survivors are not eligible for the payment. If I can find the website, I'll post it or someone else can if they know it.

                              Comment

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