I looked for a thread, didn't find one, if I missed it, my sincere apologies.

In the fire district that I currently live in, there's an issue that drives me up the wall. They serve Beer in the Stations, there is an open wet bar, that the Firefighters can use anytime they please. I've heard from a few FF's that I met, they do it, but have rules about going on the calls. One certain rule is, they wont be able to respond, if they are "TOO DRUNK" to drive. I have also seen them on calls, oddly enough, they were "Toasted" in my opinion, they broke down the wrong door in a neighboring building,, let me rephrase that, 5 doors were torn apart, even after I told them the fire was over here.
I was also told, the drinking will stay, it's supported by a board of "The old guys", they are all retired volly's, the upper command staff take part, so who do you talk now. 

My question is, how many other departments allow this type of behavior.  





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I'm feeling froggy here so I'm going to play Devil's Advocate a bit here.

What I'm seeing here is a blur between alcohol inside the station and responding after drinking or associating drinking a couple drinks with drunk.

Considering there is a group on here about beer and so forth, it begs the question as to where the line is drawn. Seriously, how many have had a couple beers, or even drinks, and were still fine enough to drive home? I'm not talking about responding, nor about being "buzzed" nor drunk, but having a couple drinks. (legally speaking the BAC for a DUI is established state to state....most being about 0.08...then there are factors such as time, weight, food intake etc) Point being it is quite possible for someone to have an occasional drink or two without adverse effects.

So really, how many have ever been to a friends house and had a beer or two, party, get together, ball game, bar, a couple drinks at a restuarant and so forth? In many cases most people can have a couple drinks and not be affected in their ability to drive home and in most cases you are not seeing someone having a drink or two and calling for a DD or having a DD in the first place. I'm NOT advocating drinking and driving, I am just asking to put things into perspective a bit here.


So now the question being really what makes the difference of a volly dept having alcohol in the station and someone going out to a bar after a training or meeting etc?

Sure there is a social club aspect to things, but in many cases, there is a social aspect.....even on the career side. I have seen and been to department events that were off duty with alcohol present. Be it a union meeting, a dept picnic, recognition dinner, convention, to even after training done off duty like USAR, etc. The difference being is that such events were never at a station with alcohol present and those who did drink weren't working and eliminated themselves from being called up in the event of OT etc if needed.

So to play the devil's advocate, what is the difference in having beer available in a volly station (under lock and key) and only allowed after say the monthly business meeting or drill night? (not after calls, not available at any time, just limited to after training/meeting nights)

To me, I think that is more the driving force is the response issue. If one decides to have a couple drinks they don't respond......if anything seeing who did have a drink you know who shouldn't be responding, vs if someone goes to a bar afterwards, or home and has some drinks and thus does show up for a response after drinking, how do you really know?
I'm feeling froggy here so I'm going to play Devil's Advocate a bit here.

What I'm seeing here is a blur between alcohol inside the station and responding after drinking or associating drinking a couple drinks with drunk.

Considering there is a group on here about beer and so forth, it begs the question as to where the line is drawn. Seriously, how many have had a couple beers, or even drinks, and were still fine enough to drive home? I'm not talking about responding, nor about being "buzzed" nor drunk, but having a couple drinks. (legally speaking the BAC for a DUI is established state to state....most being about 0.08...then there are factors such as time, weight, food intake etc) Point being it is quite possible for someone to have an occasional drink or two without adverse effects.

So really, how many have ever been to a friends house and had a beer or two, party, get together, ball game, bar, a couple drinks at a restuarant and so forth? In many cases most people can have a couple drinks and not be affected in their ability to drive home and in most cases you are not seeing someone having a drink or two and calling for a DD or having a DD in the first place. I'm NOT advocating drinking and driving, I am just asking to put things into perspective a bit here.


That's basically the point I was trying to make, but you did a better job.


So now the question being really what makes the difference of a volly dept having alcohol in the station and someone going out to a bar after a training or meeting etc?

IMO, appearances. The station is just that, a fire station, not a bar.
Quite frankly....

I do like to drink from time to time with friends, but I will never drive after drinking any amount. I grew up with an alcoholic mother who crashed one too many times and nearly killed my daughter when she crashed in front of my home. So no never. I will not respond either. Personal preference for me. Other people are different.
I know that to some of the members of the departments that are slightly more straight laced than others, alcohol in the firehouse is almost unbelievable. I am here to tell you that it is not as uncommon as you may want to believe.
I know countless firefighters and officers who openly drink on duty and I am talking about full time paid departments. I know of one firehouse that is the bastard child of the battalion and there is an entire shift there who are "functioning alcoholics." I know of other firehouses that have beer in their soda machines. I know of one battalion chief of a larger department who encourages his firefighters to drink on duty because, "It gives them the courage they need to go into some of these fires and it loosens them up so they don't get hurt..."
It is a tradition in our part of the country that when a member is to retire and works his/her last shift, the oncoming and offgoing shifts do a "shot" in the firehouse.
Personally, I am not a drinker and I do not condone this behavior, but when the administration(Chiefs) know of this and participate in this there is not much that I can do except exclude myself from these activities.

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