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Alcohol Policies: Minimum Time Required From Consumption To Responding

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  • Alcohol Policies: Minimum Time Required From Consumption To Responding

    Clearly, no one who has alcohol, or any other substance, in their system should be responding to any calls, whether driving, riding, etc.

    I'm trying to find out what an appropriate time interval to require between consumption of alcohol and being available to respond. I think this would be more specific and thus more enforceable than just a "don't respond if you've been drinking".

    What do other fire & EMS departments have in place? Is it 4,6,8,12 hours? Are there examples from other organizations: law enforcement, aircraft pilots, heavy equipment operators, etc.

    How were these time frames developed? Did it include input from medical control/adviser.

    How are these rules put in place? SOP's, union contracts, etc?

    I'm hoping this won't be an emotional debate, but a factual interchange of current practice and the reasoning behind the rules that are in place.

    Thanks.
    Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

  • #2
    Our policy states that you can not respond if you have consumed an alcoholic beverage within the last twelve hours. I am not aware of us ever having any problems since I have been around so I am not familiar with the disciplinary procedure for the offense. I am sure it would not be good for the person who violated the rules. Hope this helps.
    Matt Griffin
    Chief
    Eastern Chilton County Division of Fire, Rescue, and EMS, Station 91.

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    • #3
      The FAA has an eight hour "bottle to throttle" policy, which is exceeded by some airline companies, such as Northwest, who has a twelve hour policy.
      Member IACOJ

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      • #4
        Just for historical amusement, this is a firsthand story from the early 70's: Ambo driver responded by walking from the bar across the street; he was so wasted I had to turn the lights on for him. I guess his rule was a 10 second wait before driving...........

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        • #5
          Oregon EMS has the same, "8 hours, bottle to throttle" rule. Unless, of course, you're still intoxicated.....
          "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle."

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          • #6
            That's right, cdevoe, if you're out there. That means 8 hours after the LAST bottle, not the FIRST.
            Member IACOJ

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            • #7
              and my professional medical opinion is eight hours. my dentist agrees also.
              NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
              IACOJ Attack

              Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

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              • #8
                Aviation GUIDELINE is 8 hours from bottle to throttle, 24 hours from big bottle. This is for private pilots, as for professonal pilots, their employer may have longer times, but they won't be shorter. But you can fly while impaired if you are so inclined. Just think about Darwin Awards.
                This is of course only my humble opinion, but then again, its likely the only one that matters.

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                • #9
                  wow somehting that may informational ......... I understand that you can metabolize 1 drink/beer per hour. Some places have only the 8 hour policy. In our department it merely states the obvious, NO one shall report for ANY duty after consuming alcohol,in any MEASURE in any quantity. Thats it plain and simple .........
                  Last edited by Weruj1; 05-31-2003, 10:01 PM.
                  IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
                  Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
                  ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
                  RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
                  LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
                  I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
                  "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
                  http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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                  • #10
                    I have heard the 8-hour "bottle to throttle" rule... I have also heard a 4-hour rule. Back in the old private ambulance days it was about a 30-minute rule anda few liters of saline.... It is all common sense. If you are under the influence don't respond to calls....

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                    • #11
                      Almost Right

                      8 hours bottle to throttle is a part of the aviation regulations. What folks forget is the .02 results irregardless of time period and your relieved of duty from safety sensitive positions and retested to verify below the .02 level. In the mean time your employer has replaced you on that flight of course. Most airlines have simplified this issue .04 or higher equals termination. .04 or higher also requires your employer to notify the FAA so it can be documented and follow you the rest of your career. Given these regulations it makes you wonder even more about the folks in the media.

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                      • #12
                        We have an 8 hour policy.
                        Susan Lounsbury
                        Winston-Salem Rescue Squad
                        Griffith Volunteer FD

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