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Slinger646
12-18-2004, 13:24
Guys,
What's your Dept. SOP when it comes to consumption of alocohol Off Duty)and responding POV? Some of the moral crusaders in our dept are trying to steamroll a zero tolerance policy (8rs from bottle to throtlle)on us that would put persons OOS who had a beer at dinner and then ran a call at 1am. Now dont get me wrong, I think somthing should be there to CYA, but on any given friday, most of the company is out together having a few beers, and if this zero tolerance stuff passes, its setting us up for a thin response to calls on the weekends.

Opinions?

E.Ritz
12-18-2004, 16:20
Our policy is, if you've been drinking, or even smell like etoh, don't bother coming to the call. there are to many people looking for a reason to sue some one to take a chance.

Eric

Ankeny
12-18-2004, 21:13
Our policy is 12 hours from time of consumption to response. Yes, it leaves us short handed. The policy also gives the dead wood an excuse for skipping the nusance calls (like a dumpster fire). They roll over in bed and claim to have had a beer for supper.

emtmissay
12-18-2004, 22:25
The department I used to work for had a policy as well if you had an odor of ETOH (or the "byproducts"), you were NOT to respond to calls...PERIOD! There is way too much liability if something was to happen. My Chief used to throw some of the best parties. There were "designated" folks that chose not to drink that responded to the call in case. It's basically just a way to cover everyone's behind in case of a "mishap".

DepChief
12-18-2004, 22:56
When I first joined the fire service as a volunteer in New York, we actually had a fully stocked bar, beer taps, and a soda machine filled with cans of beer in our station. If you could make it to the truck without falling over, you went on the call. We even drank on the way to calls sometimes. But that was a long time ago. Today, our SOP is no drinking after midnight for an 8:00 am shift and 8 hours for volunteers. Anyone involved in an accident is urine tested and if found positive for ANY alcohol (even 0.01) or drugs is discharged from the department.


________________________

343 - Never Forget

obxemt
12-19-2004, 13:31
There is NO place for alcohol in a motor vehicle, let alone an emergency vehicle. If you have a beer (as in one) then turn your pager off.

chiefb
12-19-2004, 17:40
As Chief of a small Vol. Dept., we have had our problems with beer.
Not what you would think though. Started with 3 of the guys who never bothered doing anything going in to the station and cleaning the fridge out after it had been stocked. I do not have a problem with a beer or two AFTER a meeting or a fire, but to go in and drink 4-5 cases in a week and a half AND leave your butts on the floor pissed me off. The rest of the guys who would congregate at the station always checked trucks, packs, equipment or would at least sweep the floor(cleaning up the other's cig butts), then have a beer. Not a problem. Trustees got butt chewins' because the other 3 started running their mouths bragging to the GP that they got free beer at the station.Took the beer out of the station due to the immature actions of 3 guys. SHTF and one of them (3) got pissed and quit (see ya). Trustees said cool. We now have beer in the station on meeting nights, to be drank at the rate of 2 per guy, or after a fire. Zero alcohol stored inbetween. BTW, the other 2 quit coming to meetings and fires thinking they are standing up for their buddy. Whatever, I can get more done with 10 people who want to be there than 13 who don't give a sh**. Morale is at 110% now that the other factor has been eliminated. Also, NEVER show up at my fire scene hooched. A beer with supper is alright but after that I'll be on your a** for even bothering to show

DepChief
12-19-2004, 18:43
Originally posted by chiefb
As Chief of a small Vol. Dept., we have had our problems with beer.
Not what you would think though. Started with 3 of the guys who never bothered doing anything going in to the station and cleaning the fridge out after it had been stocked. I do not have a problem with a beer or two AFTER a meeting or a fire, but to go in and drink 4-5 cases in a week and a half AND leave your butts on the floor pissed me off. The rest of the guys who would congregate at the station always checked trucks, packs, equipment or would at least sweep the floor(cleaning up the other's cig butts), then have a beer. Not a problem. Trustees got butt chewins' because the other 3 started running their mouths bragging to the GP that they got free beer at the station.Took the beer out of the station due to the immature actions of 3 guys. SHTF and one of them (3) got pissed and quit (see ya). Trustees said cool. We now have beer in the station on meeting nights, to be drank at the rate of 2 per guy, or after a fire. Zero alcohol stored inbetween. BTW, the other 2 quit coming to meetings and fires thinking they are standing up for their buddy. Whatever, I can get more done with 10 people who want to be there than 13 who don't give a sh**. Morale is at 110% now that the other factor has been eliminated. Also, NEVER show up at my fire scene hooched. A beer with supper is alright but after that I'll be on your a** for even bothering to show


Wow!

__________________
343 - Never Forget

Ankeny
12-19-2004, 21:07
So tell me chiefb, what happens if the guys have had even so much as an ounce or two of beer after a meeting and you get a call? Either the hall is dry or it isn't. There is no room in society today for a bar stool response.

chiefb
12-20-2004, 07:11
I really don't want an argument here (but I'm Irish, so what the hell)

(1) We are Volunteers. We are not paid to be on call, nor do we get paid to be at a call. Try and enforce alky rules on someone on their own time. (lame I know) Sometimes you take what you can get, but discretion is the key. We are all adults, and adults should be able to make adult decisions.

(2) Mutual Aid - a wonderful concept. If you are short on people call the next department down the road. Whether it be because the guys have been at a party or happen to be gone (the most common reason), we always have friends in the surrounding towns. And yes, they have called us for manpower for the same reasons.

I will continue this later as the kids need sent off to school and I have a furnace to go work on, but I'll be back.

Have a safe day.





Go ahead - Shoulders of steel and an ass of rawhide - I can take it.

Ankeny
12-20-2004, 12:39
We are all adults, and adults should be able to make adult decisions.

I don't want to argue this on-line either. I have been in this business as a volunteer for 20+ years. I am currently a Chief officer and I am the guy who dried up our fire hall.

FWIW, I am in Wyoming. Wyoming has been the hot bed of this conversation for a couple of years. Remember the female Cadet who was killed when a piece of apparatus wrecked while enroute with an intoxicated driver? Remember the fire chief who was arrested for DWI in a department vehicle while responding to a call after the aforementioned incident?

Do what you will, but a zero tolerance policy is the only way to fly. Drunks can't make adult decisions.

DepChief
12-21-2004, 12:40
I think we should all just sit down, have a few beers and discuss this like men!;V



____________________
343 - Never Forget

obxemt
12-21-2004, 16:03
Good call... as long as no one plans on responding.

obxprnstar
12-21-2004, 18:41
Originally posted by obxemt
Good call... as long as no one plans on responding.

And as long as we don't drink these beers at hooters while saying the word "fire" and the word "fepartment" withing one hour of each other. I mean, that just might project a bad image of the town FD ;Q ;g ;V ;6 :steamed:

DepChief
12-21-2004, 18:52
Signs of Alcoholism.
1. Drink Alone.
2. Drink everyday.
3. Deny you've been drinking when asked.
4. Hide alcohol at work.
5. Desire to ride big red trucks and spray water on fire.


__________________________
343 - Never Forget

chiefb
12-21-2004, 21:38
DepChief - You forgot to move FD meeting nights to Tuesday 'cause AA meetings are Monday

I think we all understand the importance of this subject and kept in check it shouldn't become an issue. We all have known people who would try to show up OWI at a call. Some get by with it maybe a few times before getting busted by the Chief(best case for them) or by the LEO's (worst case for them, or is it?) But they give all of us a bad rep. Me letting the boys drink 2 beers in the station in 2 1/2 hrs is my little way of keeping them from drinking 5 or 6 (or more) at home in the same period.(Damage Control?) If there is so much as the glimmer of a problem, it's taken care of NOW, or the beer is gone for 3 months. Did it before and will do it again. The unwritten rule is also open ended to provide for the beer being gone until Hell freezes over or Hoffa runs for President.

DepChief
12-21-2004, 22:29
Originally posted by chiefb
DepChief - You forgot to move FD meeting nights to Tuesday 'cause AA meetings are Monday

I think we all understand the importance of this subject and kept in check it shouldn't become an issue. We all have known people who would try to show up OWI at a call. Some get by with it maybe a few times before getting busted by the Chief(best case for them) or by the LEO's (worst case for them, or is it?) But they give all of us a bad rep. Me letting the boys drink 2 beers in the station in 2 1/2 hrs is my little way of keeping them from drinking 5 or 6 (or more) at home in the same period.(Damage Control?) If there is so much as the glimmer of a problem, it's taken care of NOW, or the beer is gone for 3 months. Did it before and will do it again. The unwritten rule is also open ended to provide for the beer being gone until Hell freezes over or Hoffa runs for President.



Now how did you know our meeting nights were on Tuesday?
Is it ESP or just a beer induced stupor?

obxprnstar
12-21-2004, 22:30
chiefb, Drinkin IN the station is just a huge liability. I used to be a member of a FD that kept beer in an iced down cooler at the back door of the station. A local bar was also known as our "East Station." If you could ever imagine this, the public did not have a "great" perception of this FD.

fireguy129
12-22-2004, 18:07
Our sog's say no responding under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Whats under the influence? Hasn't been decided. Personally, im usually good for 1-2 beers tops with a pizza or after work. I don't drive the apparatus, nor am I considered impaired in my pov. After no more than 2 beers, no calls for 3 hours. Other departments can keep the 12 hour rule, but if you work 10 hours, come home and have a beer, I doubt i'll see you during the other 2 hours of the day.

obxemt
12-22-2004, 18:18
Legal definition of "under the influence" can vary from state-to-state. In North Carolina, being under the influence is with any alcohol in the system, as any amount of alcohol can affect (or impair) judgement, reflexes, etc. Some states use it (like PA) in a "DUI" statute, whereas N.C.'s statute is "Driving While Impaired", or "under the influence of an impairing substance so as to appreciably impair mental or physical faculties."

Slinger646
12-22-2004, 22:42
Guys,
Thanks for all the input, I have been away for a bit doing the christmas thing. To beter clairity the proposed change from the current zero tolorence: No alky on duty or operating FD trucks. However if you're off duty, and you've been drinking, by getting in your POV and coming to a call, you are certitying yourself to be within the guidelines of the laws of VA. Officers will still have discretion on scene. I agree with chiefb's post, we all are adults, and there have been many occasions that our members have missed a call b/c we were to sloshed.

Once again thanks for the input.:cool:

Ankeny
12-22-2004, 22:58
by getting in your POV and coming to a call, you are certitying yourself to be within the guidelines of the laws of VA.

From a legalistic point of view, that's an interesting idea. It puts the responsibility where it belongs, on the individual. Unfortunately, I don't think it will relieve the department of financial responsibility for the actions of their members.

FWIW, in Wyoming the pressure to dry up the halls and adopt a zero tolerance policy came from the Governor, Leislature, and Fire Marshall's Office. I am not sure how many people had to die before the fire service woke up. Some of the guys still don't get it. A dry hall is just one more step towards becoming unpaid professionals. As long as the community knows the hall is wet, we will be perpetuating the stereotype of the bar stool response. Interestingly enough, when the hall dried up we saw a drop in membership from the good old boys, but we picked up some very competent and professional members. I'll drink to that. ;c

Slinger646
12-23-2004, 09:36
just one more thing all houses in the county are dry, no alky on duty for anyone. No Alky allowed on premisis with the ex. of sealed containers in a POV.

Gambino
12-24-2004, 20:12
I have been to a fulltime paid fire department in a neighboring state that keeps beer iced down on the trucks. After the fire it was open cooler. This was about 10 years ago.

Slinger646
12-25-2004, 01:14
Yeah, i love the stories of the "good ol days" of our dept...