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  • #16
    We are a dry station. some of you who do still have alchohol in station beware. we had to sign a paper for our insurance co. that stated thet we will not have alchohol at the station or we would be held liable
    asst. chief kevin smith

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    • #17
      I know of a few dry stations in my area. Unfortunately we could not do this in our station because our social hall is part of our fire station and when we rent it out for parties, weddings and other things. Some of the functions use both the social hall and part or all of the truck floor. We are a volunteer station and rely heavily on donations, rentals and functions to make raise money.
      We do our best to keep members who have been drinking from going on calls.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by lumpy649:

        A concerned, careful beer lover.
        Now... where's my Guinness?
        Ah! A man after my own liver! On my vollie dept. you can't respond after two drinks.Exceptions made for all the tiny people with no tolerance. Last 4th of July we had a guy who got drunk, took a department vehicle on a call, got back to the station later, went to go for a drive in his p.v., and the skid marks are still there!!!

        Althea

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        • #19
          We have a bar at my Firedepartment. It isn't a matter of getting drunk then getting on a firetruck. Our problem is between Social members and the active members. It is not cool to go to a fire while there are guys at the station that can drink(our policy is no beer flows while we are on a call). It is not just the social members that drink, active members do too, but there isn't the problem of them being irresponsible. Some people mention Public property. Our firecompany owns the property, it is private. The Company rents the building to the Fire district which is public to house the fire appratus and equipment. My feelings are mixed on the issue, to be dry or wet. I see how it can be both bad and good. For the most part, as i see in my own fire company. It is getting worse as time goes on and times change.

          ------------------
          Put the wet stuff on the red stuff
          Visit our Dept. Schodack Valley
          Steve Kelly Jr.
          SVFC

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          • #20
            Well, let's see if I can not ramble on this subject.

            I noted that there was mention of someone making a post some time ago about a firefighter that got a DUI and then thought that there should be lienency towards him. O.K., first of all, there should NOT be ANY lienency towards him at ALL. Now, do I sound judgemental? Do I sound like a do-gooder? Well, let me say this, 3 years ago, I recieved a DWI. It was the most horrible, embarrasing, shameful thing I have EVER done. It only took me ONCE to get the message. The shame that I felt, was not so much that I got caught doing it, but instead that I have been picking up people (or pieces of them, whatever the case may be) and yet there I was being a TOTAL idiot. It is something that has TOTALLY ruined my life. Everyone says, ohh, it happens, life will go on. Well, maybe it has, but the shame and guilt I carry will NEVER go away.

            That said, my department has a beer machine. We have had a beer machine since god was a child. We pay .50 a beer and the money goes into a morale fund so on and so forth. We DO have a ZERO tolerance for responding to Personal Injury Collisions, and a "two beer rule", for anything else. I don't think I would miss it one bit if we had the machine taken out. Whether or not it makes a bad impression for community members to see, I don't know. I DO know though that I TOTALLY agree with the tolerance policy. This is something that has just within the last two years come into play, and I think we are better for it. Some day, I am sure that we will see the end to the "machine", but until then, all we can do is be pro-active and prevent those that choose to "put back some cold ones" from being a danger to themselves, the public, and the rest of us.

            Do I still drink? Every once in a while. It is not an everytime I go to the station thing, but I do have some during special functions, and so forth. Often I join the "non-drinking" group and refrain so as to be available for the next call.

            WORD OF WARNING: For those stations that DO have machines, or taps, or cases, or whatever. A few years back we used to allow anyone of legal age (18+) join the department, and then we tried to regulate who had access to the machine. Well, to make a long story short, the beer was available, the younger ones (under 21) took advantage of it. We lost our license to have beer in the house. We changed a lot of things since then. We have a lock on the machine, and all of us are issued keys for that, so as to prevent younger drinkers access to the beer. Second, we do not allow anyone under the age of 21 join the department either.

            If you are going to drink, I do not blame you. Just PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, be CAREFUL. If you exceed YOUR limit (and be honest with yourself) then remember not to put your life, others life, or the REST of your life in jeapordy. You may never get caught doing it, you may never hurt anyone, but the one time you DO get caught, you will become as miserable as I have.

            Something to think about.

            Your brother in the Service,
            Rob

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            • #21
              none in station, none on property, none on calls or at meetings. if we smell alcohol on their breath while on property, in station or on a call, they are immediately sent home with a 30 day suspension, and then are reviewed grievance committee for further action

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              • #22
                You'll always have the argument of beer/no beer at the firehall. If it is going to be there then it should be in a separate room away from the apparatus floor and once you're there that's where you stay. I know of many firehouses that have alcohol on premisies - if you're going to have it then make provisions and govern accordingly!!!

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                • #23
                  Apparently, my daughter needs to be put in a barrel and fed through the bunghole til she's of age. She neglected to mention that the FF who responded DUI and then later rolled his POV, was terminated tout suite. Our small vollie dept's rule is 1 drink and decent body size, you can respond, but not drive. 2 drinks, you don't respond, period. All social events have preplanned duty crews. There's no drinking at either station, even the one where the residents live, but you can drink at the hall which is a separate building about 1/2 mile from the nearest station.

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                  • #24
                    beer in the firehouse? you have to be kidding. that is what gives volunteers a bad reputation. my department runs more than 3,000 calls a year and tries to maintain an image as professional as any career department. we are not allowed to drink in the firehouse and nobody with a blood level of more than .05 is allowed to ride. that means you can have a beer at home and still respond if we get a call. it is a little unrealistic to not allow volunteers to drink in their home and respond if they are not under the influence.

                    [This message has been edited by housesiren (edited 04-03-2001).]

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                    • #25
                      If you drink and respond you're an idiot. Period. And a self-centered idiot, too. While you're in traction or dead, your family is figuring out how to survive without the benefits you WOULD have received had you had a .00 BAC. If you want to party, join the Elks.

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                      • #26
                        Just like Drinking and Driving Don't Mix --- Drinking and Firefighting Don't Mix Either...Beer in the Firehouse ---Yeah I think it will always be there {Where its Allowed} but like others have said here the good 'ol boy days at the hall drinking beer and getting toasted should or need to end. I've herd stories from around the mid- 70's through the 80's where guys {and girls too} hung out at the station drinking until the sun came up and if there was a call they got on the trucks completley s**t faced in some cases --- There is just no room for that now

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                        • #27
                          Alcohol and on duty just don't mix.

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                          • #28
                            I have to agree that beer in the fire hall is not a good idea. You never know who will happen to walk in. Also, being from a volunteer dept., you know that everyone is watching every move that you make. Any smell of alcohol, especially at a MVA or personal injury call, will get you in trouble no matter what. Our department is a dry one. But I have only been on here for less than a year. However, from what I hear it has not been dry for long. They used to have beer in the fridge in the hall. So did my former department. I would have to say that it stopped about 6-7 years ago. With all the regulations and stricter laws nowadays I don't think that it is a place for beer. Neither are fundraisers. This happened to us at my old department one year at the end of the yearly "spaghetti supper" that we put on to raise money. One firefighter (chiefs son) and his brother (also chiefs son..., but not a firefighter) had too much to drink. When it came time to pick up after the evening, when everyone else had left, he wanted to stay to party with his brother. Well, when asked politely to leave they both got violent. I should know, I was the one going toe to toe with the firefighter. It took one of the people there calling the police to get them out. Well, he is no longer on the department... Being a firefighter is a social thing and going to a local watering hole after a meeting or such will always be a reality. I think we just need to have some common sense. It is up to each department to implement some rules that everyone must follow. We are there to help the public, not put them in more trouble...

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                            • #29
                              Here's my 2 cents on this one...

                              In my town, all 5 fire companies are just that, companies, as in Incorporated businesses. Therefor, we own our own buildings and "rent" the bays to the town for apparatus storage (the town owns the trucks). All 5 firehouses have bars with beer on tap and probably will until we either go paid or the town buys the firehouses. We have a ZERO tolerance policy for drinking and driving (or riding) apparatus. If you try it you'll be going home in a cop car (after they get done processing you for DWI and operating a town vehicle under the influence) and you'll most likely get your walking papers from the department. For all social gatherings, meetings, and events we have duty crews that are made up of people that volunteer to stay sober. We have never had a problem with anyone even so much as TRYING to drive or ride under the influence because they know the penalties. As "responsible" adults we SHOULD all know that alcohol, when mixed with motor vehicles, has proven to be more than one man's end and we should all act accordingly. I have personally passed on more than one call simply because I have been drinking.
                              In all honesty, I can say that more problems (between individual members and entire companies alike)have been resolved over the bar than over any meeting room table. I do agree with the statement that "alcohol has no place in the fire service" but that's also in the same sense that alcohol has no place at anyone's job. Just because you pass a bar on the way to work do you have to stop and down a few? No, of course not. By the same rule just because you have a bar at the firehouse does that mean you should be riding under the influence? Again, the answer is a resounding NO. It boils down to knowing what's right and wrong and simply being responsible. We're all adults and should be responsible enough to know that drinking and going on a call is NOT helping the public, it's endangering the public. If you personally can't have a few drinks and be responsible enough to know not go on calls then you shouldn't drink PERIOD. Whether you're drinking at a firehouse or at your own house or anywhere, an adult should know that getting behind the wheel of ANY vehicle for ANY reason is simply irresponsible and begging for problems.


                              As far as the firefighter that got nailed for DWI and asked for leniency goes...
                              An old saying comes to mind "If you do the crime, you do the time." It's simply a matter of personal accountability. The fact that he is a firefighter means that he should not only get the penalty he will get from the court but he should also be penalized by his department.

                              [This message has been edited by Eng522ine (edited 04-03-2001).]

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                              • #30
                                More and more, I look at this post and it gets me to wondering. If you look at my previous post, you will see that my department is not a dry house.

                                What I have been thinking though, is how EXACTLY do we determine if someone is impaired or not? (With the exception of stumbling drunk) I mean, yes it IS unrealistic to say that vollies cannot drink. I know that when I used to run vollie squad that we were not allowed to drink 4 hours prior to going on shift. If there was ANY alcohol on breath (not and impaired, un-impaired question) for someone in my specialized Rescue Unit that I was also attached to, we could NOT respond at all. However, we were assigned 12 hour shifts, so it was a reasonable request.

                                We could say, well it is up to the individual. That makes me nervous, I myself in the past have been guilty of thinking I was "all right". Never on calls though.

                                Just something I was thinking about.


                                ------------------
                                Your Brother In The Service,
                                Rob Herpel
                                FF/EMT
                                Vice-Pres./Asst. EMS Coordinator
                                Fremont Rural Fire Department

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