well this is more for you volunteers. but what is the sop for having cell phones while at your department like during meetings and on calls? my department allows cell phones but they just ask that you dont answer them during calls. but im just curious because of a certain situation thats goin on with another person in my department and me.

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Our department set rules that all cell phones should be off so they pay attention to what they are doing instead of talking and texting with people.

We had a structure fire saturday night and I turned around and found one of my members on his cell phone and when I looked at him he knew what he did and hung up and looked at me and said he forgot. So I guess I am going to have to have a training class on how to shut off cell phones.
And if you were to tell him that it takes both hands to fight a fire, he'd go out and get a Blue Tooth.
Because so many unauthorized photos taken by camera phones are hitting the Internet, I would ban them from scenes completely and have very , very strict consequences if caught violating the rule.
I have had a cell phone attached to my hip for over 15 years. But I have learned that you don't HAVE to take that call while you're passing through the line at the funeral home and you don't HAVE to make that call while you're at the movie theater and during the movie. You should not eat a meal at the restaurant while gabbing on the phone.
And if you are taking a class in Illinois with a state certified instructor; I dare you to let your phone ring during their class or worse, you answer it if it does. You will be asked to turn in your stuff and leave the class.
The fire service is no place for the cell phone mentality. Distractions can get you killed and I know of no bigger distraction in our lives today than the friggin' cell phone.
That we should have to have LAWS to forbid "texting" while driving pretty much sums up the state of our future generation.
I am drafting a policy for our department, that includes the use of silent or vibrate function. All it takes is one person to use it during an event(training, call, meeting) and then everyone uses it. It's hard to install core fire department values in new personnel when the senior firefighters , captains, and chief's are constantly used, for other than official use.
My feeling is they you should be allowed to carry them. Keep they on vibrate. Never answer on a call. Never answer when driving a emergency vehicle whether on a call or not.

The way it is going with my people it is going to come to that pretty soon because they seem like when it comes to their phones they would explode if they do not have them with them or miss answering the call.
We dont permit members to use there cells during meeting's or training but if were on a call the officers can use their cells to contact each other if radio trafic is to heavy, but our radio system just sucks. If were on a call during a storm and its for tree's and wire's down we use them as a way of keeping the radio clear of unnessary trafic. During times like that im the only Jr that's permited to use my cell, only because my dad is chief and i am one of the only guys that has his number programed into my phone.
We had a member try and do something similar to our department, we suspended him for 30 days and he decided not to come back.
any new member who has not been to enough calls or runs around telling people stories that are false should be restricted to only certain calls.
you should have gotten the tape from dispatch and sent it to the department you wanted to join and have them listen to it to prove that what he said was false.
Anyone who has more experience has senority over him, its common sense, if he was a member of my department he wouldnt last to long. There are about 10 of us that show up for calls regularly and were a tight group of guys and if you dont show you deserve to be there then they are going to have a hard time gaining our trust. I gained alot of respect cause i know what im supposed to do on calls, and I only know how to do my jobs and do them right because all i do is train train and keep on training. You know it all.....You lose it all, meaning once you think you know it all and quit training thats when you enter a situation in which you have no clue how to react. In turn it usualy means someone will get hurt
off or on viberate not allowed on calls except when it applies to the call we have some who abuse it but try not to do it
We use our cell phones for all kinds of things on calls, particularly if there is a lot of radio traffic. We use them to call dispatch if there is information we don't want boradcast or like I said, if there is too much radio traffic. Sometimes the cell phone towers are more powerful than the radio towers and in certian areas we need to use them instead. We have used them across the fire ground to communicate with each other. Headsets are good to have in that situation but my chief has a knack for carrying on two conversations at once, one on the radio, the other on a cell phone.
I have called the IC when I was enroute, since I don't have a personal radio, to find out what he wanted from me or if I needed to bring anything else to the fire scene. In meetings, most of us put them on vibrate. If it is an important call they may leave the room to take the call. My cell is always with me but if I am busy, in a meeting or on a call it goes to voice mail.
My daughter & sister in law will text me when we are out to find out if we need anything from them. I have it on vibrate and sometimes I feel it other times I don't but if/when I get a second I will check to see who has sent text & open them if necessary. I know my friends in WA or in Columbus don't have anything pertinent about this scene so thier's can wait until I'm done. A call from the fire station means someone needs information of some type but for some reason not on the radio. Cell phones can be a nusiance but they can also be an inhancement to your job. Most of us understand that we can't lay down a hose to answer a call from our spouse or girlfriend. We really haven't had a problem. I suppose if we develop one we will have to address it but for now there is no need.

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