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Volunteer Chief suspended for drinking

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  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    From Firehouse.com 7/2/03

    After pleading guilty to public intoxication, Dickinson County's top emergency official is fired. Timothy Kinnetz, a volunteer firefighter and emergency management coordinator for the county pleaded guilty the charge after he arrived drunk at a boating accident on West Okoboji Lake earlier this month.
    Just another in a series of embarassments for the fire service. As the instances increase, you can only expect more negative exposure, in the way of media coverage.

    And then.....the public, from whom many of you get your funding...will voice their concerns. When it comes time to dig into their pockets...they may just come up empty.

    Public perception is a powerful tool. You can use it wisely.......OR, in this instance.....and others, dig your own grave.

    Which will it be?

    Leave a comment:


  • DFCSmash
    replied
    4 times yesterday, I tried to post. Wouldn't recognize my login. So here goes. I DO NOT CONDONE DRINKING AND DRIVING. I do not condone the Chief in question making the decision he made vis-a-vis drinking and driving. I think that personal vendettas have no place in running a municipality. I was a town councillor for 9 years. Never had one. Saw others who did. Not pretty. Mayor is way out of line on this indefinite suspension. He was not drinking on duty. End of discussion.

    5pts384; I was thinking pretty much the same sarcastic thoughts.

    DrParasite; As Deputy I get my $120/yr whether I make 1 call or 100. As a small (19 member) dept, a radio man or other light hall duties person is appreciated. If it is a large working fire, and it lasts more than an hour, I'll go help on mop-up. Roll hose etc. I don't have to get there quickly and after an hour or so, any alcohol has been metabolized. (Wouldn't be there if I had more than 2 drinks) Both the Chief and myself have in the past not gone to calls if we've had more than one. We try to lead by example. Usually by good example, but sometimes...

    dfdex1; you are quite good at quoting out of context. Do you work for the CBC? Or Geraldo? I'll stop here. Again.

    Pfire23; Thank you for saving me a lot of keyboard work. Your words of defence are appreciated. Most volunteer depts and small towns aren't all that different. If I had posted my own response it may have gotten this subject locked

    We just got a new $450,000 7200 sq ft Fire hall built here. Moving in this week. Got a replacemnt rescue van in February. And we have a new pumper being speced for delivery in 2005. This idiot isn't doing all that badly.

    Leave a comment:


  • DFCSmash
    replied
    You will know that you've had those drinks and how bad it will be if anything goes wrong on the call. Just say no to responding after drinking. But this thread is not for this arguement.

    Leave a comment:


  • firefighter26
    replied
    Re: Here's a math question.

    Originally posted by ChiefReason
    You have ten dollars to spend. At the bar downtown, beer is two dollars a can. How many cans will you get for ten dollars? Answer: five.
    I wanna live where ever the Chief is!!! Go into a bar here and you're looking at $3-5 a glass!!!

    --------------------------------

    Another thing should also be noted. Just because there is alcohol at the hall, doesn't mean that we are all going to sit down there all day and drink, does it? Does it mean everyone is going to drink? No and No.

    With the way everyone carries on it sounds like entire departments just sit around all day and drink. Is this the case for any fire department??? I certainly hope not.

    How many of use are likely to have a beer after work with dinner? Or have a couple drinks while watching the game? The list is endless. Speaking from personal experience, I rarely had more than 2-3 drinks A WEEK at the hall, and they were only consumed socially, with other firefighters, who, had I had to many, would not let me respond, whereas if they had to many, I wouldn't let them respond, either.

    However, lets say I get home from a hard day at work and down a few with dinner, and have a few after, then show up at the hall for a call out. Is anyone going to know if I am alright to respond? As far as any knows I was just at home, like everyone else. That, in my opinion is the problem. A drink or three at home, then responding. No one knows any better. No one knows if you are capable of doing the job. If I had a drink or three at the hall, you can bet that no one is going to let me go.

    Leave a comment:


  • 5pts384
    replied
    Sorry about the PAID spelling just a little sarcastic humor

    Leave a comment:


  • PFire23
    replied
    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 drink, I'll respond but not drive apparatus, 2 respond but not leave the hall, 3 drinks and I don't respond. 4 and I shut my pager off.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    you know, i'll agree with you on 1 drink that you are ok to ride the apparatus. I've said before that ONE DRINK DOES NOT MAKE YOU INTOXICATED!!! but why respond after 2? respond just for the call credit? what if it turns out to be a worker? will you still not get on the truck? or what if a second call comes in? are you going to tell the chief the he can't roll an engine with a full crew because you had 2 beers, yet you responded for the first alarm?
    I am thinking that the frame of mind regarding the not leaving the hall after 2 drinks is that he can stay and monitor the radio, or help put equipment away upon the crews returning, etc. I know with us, we don't always have a radio operator so if someone chose to stay behind there would be a job for them to do. I think I've read his intent correctly here.

    Leave a comment:


  • drparasite
    replied
    1 drink, I'll respond but not drive apparatus, 2 respond but not leave the hall, 3 drinks and I don't respond. 4 and I shut my pager off.
    you know, i'll agree with you on 1 drink that you are ok to ride the apparatus. I've said before that ONE DRINK DOES NOT MAKE YOU INTOXICATED!!! but why respond after 2? respond just for the call credit? what if it turns out to be a worker? will you still not get on the truck? or what if a second call comes in? are you going to tell the chief the he can't roll an engine with a full crew because you had 2 beers, yet you responded for the first alarm?
    NO VOLY should ever drink ALCOHOL only the payed FF know when they are off duty. If a payed FF drinks a beer he should only WALK home or take a bus.
    I'm sorry, but this is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. first of all, the word is paid, not payed. second of all, it's just a dumb thing to say. third, have you ever heard of a mandatory staff recall? some of the paid (note the spelling) departments will call in off duty firefighters if they have a major incident in their town to assist with coverage. fourth, alcohol is legal. to both purchase and consume, by anyone over 21. this include vol. firefighters. to say that no volunteers should ever drink alcohol, is one of the most asinine comments i've ever heard. if you want to say they shouldn't drink while on the engines or in the firehouse, fine, that's your point of view. but never at all? that's just stupidity on your part.
    You do not have to spend the night in jail for a roadside suspension, CUT AND DRY, that's the way it is. He was NOT impaired, GET THAT IN YOUR HEAD.
    i can't agree with PFire23 more. in my opinion, if he's not impaired, and nothing I have read says he was, then the suspension is without merit. if he was impaired, and nothing I have read says he was, but doing it on his own time and not representing the department at all (wearing an FD shirt, driving a chief's vehicle, whatever), then that is a legal matter, and I don't see how his role as fire chief should be affected. that's like saying a career fire captain goes out drinking with his buddies (non-FFs), and get involved in a fight. cops are called, both fighters spend the night sleeping it off in the local jail. should be be fired from his job? after all, and indefinite suspension is very similar to termination? or should it be the incident did not reflect poorly on the department, and since there is no sign of him doing this while on duty, then the department should not get involved?

    but back to the topic at hand, it still seems to me that the chief should not have been suspended for what happened

    Leave a comment:


  • hwoods
    replied
    And the story behind the story?

    I'm still waiting to hear from Paul Harvey........ Oh, and Mayors can't do ANYTHING to a Fire Chief here, municipalities have nothing to do with (read "no control over") their local Fire/Rescue services. Volunteer Fire Departments are private corporations, and most own the building and apparatus in their communities. Great system, when the big fire happens, 20 miles down the road, and that dept calls for help, no one has the authority to tell you that you can't go. Stay Safe....
    Last edited by hwoods; 06-29-2003, 06:08 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • mcaldwell
    replied
    I have got to chime on on the side of my island brothers here and reinforce the statement that he was not charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence).

    24hr or "Roadside" suspensions are handed out like water up here, and the point that has not been noted here is that you don't even have to blow yellow. You can get a roadside suspension just because the officer believes you have had a drink, very little proof required. They are just another tool in the RCMP's arsenal to raise awareness and prevent DUI's.

    As for the political motivation, I find this angle the most interesting. A few months ago, The Premier of BC, Gordon Campbell was arrested in Hawaii for DUI, and he blew .16 (TWICE the legal limit). When he got home, they fussed about it for a week or two, and it went away with out any kind of real political fallout.

    If we are willing to let El Gordo get away with that fine piece of international relations, why the hell are we stringing up a Chief for a non-offence?
    Last edited by mcaldwell; 06-29-2003, 06:16 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • PFire23
    replied
    Originally posted by dfdex1

    So your proud your an idiot?

    Was Anndee lucky?

    Right,so now you just defend people that act as childish as you did.

    Someone who has read about/seen to many tragic accidents caused by ignorent ideas like you can operate any vehicle while drunk.
    So 1 drink I will mildly risk lives,2 drinks now im putting the people who depend on me in danger,it should be 1 drink turn off pager.
    Small town or not,spend a night in jail and explain it to the judge.

    Maybe you should,you aint worth getting kicked of the boards for.
    Jesse,

    Can you PLEASE learn to THINK before you allow your fingers to roam over the keyboard???? It's comments like a few of the ones that you've made that cause threads to be locked. Is there a VALID reason WHY you have called someone an idiot??? Until you can tell me that you have LIVED and have some VALUABLE life experience I would suggest that you CEASE passing judgement on those of us who are older, more experienced, and MORE MATURE than you. You have a whole lot of growing up to do, this is readily apparent by your haste in namecalling.

    DFCSmash made a comment on being "lucky" because he REALIZES since he's GROWN UP (his words) that he WAS lucky to have NEVER been caught, killed himself or someone else. See Jesse, that's what the process of growing and maturing is all about, you LEARN FROM MISTAKES, which is something that you apparently STILL need to learn.

    NOT one person here is defending anyone for drinking and driving WE HAVE ALL stated that NONE of us agree with nor condone it. THE ORIGINAL THOUGHT BEHIND THIS THREAD WAS WHETHER OR NOT THE CHIEF BEING SUSPENDED FROM HIS POSITION OF CHIEF BY THE MAYOR WAS APPROPRIATE AND WARRANTED. LETS KEEP THIS TO THAT THOUGHT. And IF you feel the need to go off on a tangent, do your bloody homework first. Do the reading of the different things I have posted, there is a POLITICAL history in this town, it's got a lot more to do with politics than with anything else.

    We have ALL stated that NO ONE KNOWS whether or not this man would have responded, the only two persons that do are GOD AND HIM. Until I have to call you GOD, you dont' know any more than I do regarding this situation.

    He's making a point with his comments of how many drinks he will have and still respond as opposed to NOT responding. I will respond after having had ONE drink, I'm NOT impaired after one. I won't drive though, there are other guys who can do that. At least this gentleman is honest, and RESPONSIBLE in his thinking. Just because a person may have ONE OR TWO occasionally does NOT mean they are an alcoholic, irresponsible, or will do something stupid, as I've said before let's not LUMP everyone who may enjoy a drink from time to time in the same category.

    You do not have to spend the night in jail for a roadside suspension, CUT AND DRY, that's the way it is. He was NOT impaired, GET THAT IN YOUR HEAD.

    Anyway, DFCSmash, thank you for your post. You made some valid points that MOST adults can relate to. I hope to see more of your posts.

    Leave a comment:


  • dfdex1
    replied
    Have I had too many drinks and driven? Damn straight. I'm 46. Used to be almost a badge of honour to get picked up for impaired. Never got caught, never had an accident or caused one.
    So your proud your an idiot?
    Just goes to show anyone can get lucky.
    Was Anndee lucky?
    I grew up.
    Right,so now you just defend people that act as childish as you did.
    if I get stroked for DUI (or being partly pregnant .05-.079) in my own vehicle, on my own time who are you to say that I would have responded to the hall?
    Someone who has read about/seen to many tragic accidents caused by ignorent ideas like you can operate any vehicle while drunk.
    1 drink, I'll respond but not drive apparatus, 2 respond but not leave the hall, 3 drinks and I don't respond. 4 and I shut my pager off.
    So 1 drink I will mildly risk lives,2 drinks now im putting the people who depend on me in danger,it should be 1 drink turn off pager.
    Pulls it over. Tags expired, no registration, driver under the influence.
    Small town or not,spend a night in jail and explain it to the judge.
    I'll quit for now.
    Maybe you should,you aint worth getting kicked of the boards for.

    Leave a comment:


  • 5pts384
    replied
    NO VOLY should ever drink ALCOHOL only the payed FF know when they are off duty. If a payed FF drinks a beer he should only WALK home or take a bus.

    Leave a comment:


  • DFCSmash
    replied
    I have a some questions for dfdex. Are you a member of the dept in question? Are you a personal aquaintance of the Chief in question? If your answer is yes then you may have the right to make comments like "There is no doubt in my mind he would pour himself into his car and respond. If as I believe the answer is no then shut up and @#$% off. YOU DO NOT have the right to assume any action by anybody. Have I had too many drinks and driven? Damn straight. I'm 46. Used to be almost a badge of honour to get picked up for impaired. Never got caught, never had an accident or caused one. Just goes to show anyone can get lucky. Do I do it today? No. I grew up. But just for arguments sake, if I get stroked for DUI (or being partly pregnant .05-.079) in my own vehicle, on my own time who are you to say that I would have responded to the hall? 1 drink, I'll respond but not drive apparatus, 2 respond but not leave the hall, 3 drinks and I don't respond. 4 and I shut my pager off. Then the temptation that may be caused by impaired judgement is eliminated.
    Now here is the scenario that seems to have been overlooked. Cop observes vehicle being driven in a manner other than the norm. Pulls it over. Tags expired, no registration, driver under the influence. Jeez its the Fire Chief. Very small community. "Been drinking?" "Yep" "Tell you what, you just park it here and I'll give you a lift home. If I don't make you blow, I don't know that you are impaired. I'll give you a 24hr Suspension that won't show on your record, and you can pick up your license tommorrow." "Geez thanks man I really appreciate that. It's a deal"
    Call it what you like, professional courtesy, good ol boys network, it happens every day.
    Should he be suspended indefinitely? NO. Maybe there is much more to this than meets the eye. The proverbial straw. But I think that the mayor has picked the wrong reason. Furthermore, in my province, the mayor couldn't do this without a special meeting of council. By the time this got put together, the suspension would be over and the meeting would be pointless.
    Personal vendettas are seldom well-reasoned or defensible. Defeated council members should be treated like the rattlesnakes they usually are. Damn few good councillorsa are defeated in elections, they retire or die. No-one likes to be told by the majority of people in their district that they are doing a poor job.
    I'll quit for now.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChiefReason
    replied
    Here's a math question.

    You have ten dollars to spend. At the bar downtown, beer is two dollars a can. How many cans will you get for ten dollars? Answer: five.
    You go to the fire station with the same ten dollars. At the fire station, beer is one dollar a can. How many cans will you get for ten dollars? Answer: ten.
    You go to the bar and you have no money. Will they let you drink for nothing? Answer: no.
    You go to the fire station and you have no money. Will they let you drink for nothing? Answer: yes. You just put an IOU in the till.
    It's just too damned easy to drink at the fire station and respond. Why? Because we all know that being at the fire station at the time of the call will improve your response time. So whether you have been drinking or not, you will get on the rig, in the rig or behind the wheel of the rig, because you are there and can do it faster than those who are not.
    You can argue this into a reality series, but it isn't going to stop people from drinking at home, at the bar, in the car or at the fire station and responding to calls until penalties are toughened and we as a group of firefighters take control of the problem. Whether it's Canada, England, New Zealand or anywhere here in the United States, it will never change unless WE change it. Take it back to your fire stations. That seems to be where everything gets started.
    CR

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  • PFire23
    replied
    In my opinion alcohol at the firehall (volunteer department that doubles as a community hall) has absolutely nothing to do with responding while drinking. Someone posted a picture of Anndee Huber, while I agree that the loss of her life was a needless waste, the man who drove her to her death did NOT imbibe at the hall, he had his drinks elsewhere. So instead of the outcry toward halls that do house alcohol somewhere on their premise lets be realistic, the real threat is not from WHERE the alcohol is, but the lack of self regulation by a few individuals. Alcohol is legal and can be bought and drank damn near anywhere. The question is knowing when you can no longer respond. It's called being responsible and professional. There are always going to be those who don't know their own limits, or don't care and will go when the tones drop, but let's face it those people can and will obtain their alcohol from places other than the hall. Realistically, WHEN we had alcohol in our hall we were all there and we all saw how much each other was drinking. No one had any qualms about saying they would not be responding should the tones drop, nor did we have an issue with looking at someone else and saying "hey man, you aren't responding tonight". We also knew that by having more than 2 (for myself) then you were sitting out, so if you didn't want to sit out you limited yourself and had something non alcoholic. Quite frankly, my concern lies not with anyone who drinks in the community area of the hall, but with someone who has been lazing in the sun, mowing the lawn, working on their car etc all day, hoisting a few in the hot sun and not realizing just how many they've had and showing up. At least sitting across the room from someone at the hall, I KNOW what their intake has been.

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