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  • Painting the town red

    With the tragedy in Memphis, the story about Shannon Lee Halvorson, the 20 year young Oregon firefighter that died after hitting her head in a parking lot , seems to have fallen through the cracks. I started this thread because although her death probably will not be considered a LODD, it is clearly fire service related and it has some aspects (mainly alcohol) that are similar to the Anndee Huber tragedy.

    In my experience, at almost every training class or conference that involves overnight travel, attendees place a major emphasis on sampling the local nightlife. In some cases, the idea that some attendees might overindulge has been openly acknowledged by the faculty. Usually, the speech goes something like “While you’re here, don’t do anything to embarrass your department or this training facility but if you do get into trouble, here’s who to call.” Here’s my question. Do any departments have formal policies regarding conduct while on official travel? For my fellow volunteers, does it matter if the department or the firefighter is footing the bill for the travel?

  • #2
    We do not have any written policy on something like this. We have an "understood" policy that when representing the department, you act accordingly. We send members to Firehouse Expo for the training classes. The classes are paid for through our training budget. The members stay overnight and our company pays part of the hotel bill. The members that attend make up the difference themselves. Most of our members, when attending conferences and such, do not wear any type of department shirts/coats/hats etc. When sampling local nightlife, you would not know them from any other person walking down the street. That is our "understood" policy. We tend to get rid of members that don't act like adults. Our members know that, and believe in it. We still consider being a volunteer firefighter a privilege, and understand that the privilege can be taken away.

    My condolences to Miss Halvorson's family, this was a terrible accident.

    Stay Safe.
    "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?

    Comment


    • #3
      I have also been a part of the "sampling night life", but as Bones42 says, if you are at a function representing the Department, you should remember to act accordingly and also know when to quit. There clauses in most departments rules (or by-laws in the case of volunteers) that address conduct unbecoming on and off duty.

      I agree with Bones in his post.

      Additionally, my condolences to her family. Another sensless loss of a young person within our ranks. May God bless her family and comfort them as they deal with this tragic loss.

      The question remains...Will this be covered under F.D. Insurance since she was at a conference representing the Department?
      09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
      ------------------------------
      IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
      "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
      BMI Investigator
      ------------------------------
      The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am unaware of any official "off duty" policy regarding behavior while attending training/seminar functions.

        People should understand that their actions, on or off duty, reflect how your agency is viewed as a whole.

        Halvorson is separated from her husband, Wood said Friday from Crook County. Her 3-year-old son, Garrett, is with his grandparents.
        My belated condolences go out to the family and friends. May Shannon Lee rest in peace!
        Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
        Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

        *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
        On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Just because a dept. pays the hotel bill, does not mean, IMHO, that the dept. can regulate what that individual does on the down time. This incident is a tragedy. It was unnecessary. But this woman was off-duty. She was on her time. You cannot tell a member what they can do on their own time.

          Perhaps you can say that they can't wear dept. logo clothing. You can definitely say not t respond when you have been hydrating yourself. But to say I have to limit my activities on my time? Not a chance.
          PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

          Comment


          • #6
            Investigation

            Officials investigate firefighter's last moments

            (Albany-AP) -- Albany police continue to investigate the death
            of a Pineville woman who was dropped on her head after a volunteer
            firefighters conference last week.
            According to the Albany Police Department dispatch log entry,
            20-year-old Shannon Lee Halvorson was intoxicated and being carried
            by a man across the Holiday Inn Express parking lot around midnight
            when he stumbled and fell, causing her to land on her head. A
            toxicology report, which would determine her blood-alcohol level,
            is pending.
            Halvorson was in Albany with five other members of Crook County
            Fire and Rescue for a volunteer firefighters convention.
            She died Friday at a hospital in Corvallis.

            (Oregonian)

            (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
            Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
            Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

            *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
            On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Followup Story

              ALBANY, Ore. (AP) - A grand jury will review whether criminal
              charges should be filed in the death of a volunteer firefighter
              last month, the Linn County district attorney announced Wednesday.
              Shannon Halvorson, 20, of Prineville died from head injuries
              suffered when she was dropped while being carried across a hotel
              parking lot June 13.
              George Eder, the senior deputy district attorney, said the grand
              jury will hear the case before the end of July. He would not say
              what criminal charges the grand jury might consider. He said no
              other information about the case will be released until the grand
              jury hears evidence.
              Halvorson was in Linn County attending a convention of volunteer
              firefighters. She attended training classes during the day and went
              to a party at night.
              She and many of the other firefighters were drunk, the district
              attorney said. At around midnight, several of Halvorson's
              acquaintances were helping her to her room across the hotel parking
              lot, according to reports.
              Halvorson was dropped and her skull was fractured, according to
              reports. Someone called 911, and Halvorson was taken to Good
              Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, where she died of
              head injuries about 12 hours later.
              No one has been arrested or charged.
              Halvorson had been a volunteer firefighter for about 11 months.
              She was married and had a 3-year-old son.

              (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
              Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
              Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

              *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
              On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

              Comment


              • #8
                No Charges in death of FF

                PRINEVILLE, Ore. (AP) - A Linn County grand jury declined to
                issue charges in the death of a volunteer firefighter who was
                fatally injured at a June firefighters' convention.
                Shannon Halvorson, 20, was attending the Oregon Volunteer
                Firefighters Convention at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany on
                June 12. After training classes, Halvorson went to a party in a
                motel room with other firefighters, according to a statement issued
                Monday by the Linn County District Attorney's office.
                She and many of the other firefighters were intoxicated, the
                district attorney said. At around midnight, several of Halvorson's
                acquaintances were helping her to her room across the hotel parking
                lot when Halvorson fell and fractured her skull, the statement
                said.
                Halvorson's father, Dick Zimmerlee, declined to comment on the
                grand jury's decision until he had an opportunity to review the
                police and medical examiner's reports.
                Halvorson worked full time as a medical assistant and records
                clerk for Central Oregon Medical Management at PioneerHealth Care
                Center in Prineville, said Kim Crofcheck, director of the center.
                She is survived by her husband, Jeff, and a 3-year-old son.


                (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
                Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
                  But this woman was off-duty. She was on her time. You cannot tell a member what they can do on their own time.
                  I know this is off topic, but how do you feel about the regulations that restrict personnel from smoking off-duty? Isn't that a regulation of what they can do on their own time? I know it's different because it has lasting implications, but it is a limit on an otherwise legal activity.

                  I'm just curious where each of you draws the line, and how people feel about these things.

                  We discourage wearing department clothing at bars, etc.
                  God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
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                  Click this to search FH Forums!

                  Comment

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