We eat our big meal at noon every day, then a light dinner in the evening. We go to the store every shift about 9 or 10. Sometimes the public complains and wants to know what we are doing at the store, but they are mostly retired malcontents with nothing to do. Every 5 years or so the Chief or some council member will make a stink about it but it is a condition of work and has been allowed so it remains and will remain the way we do lunch.
We put in $ for meals around $7 for lunch & dinner. Most times whoever is coooking goes to the store pov. There are houses were the apperatus goes to the store. We don't have the restrictions that some dept do on using the apperatus to go out. The Dept. feels that by beeing out in the public eye and meeting the people we serve it's better Pr. If people feel that your fire house is appart of ther community there more likely to support you and inform you of problems.
There are houses that on some shifts go out to lunch or supper or both. Just depends. Again it's all about letting the public get to know you. And it helps to with knowing the lay out of structures. Markets, Restaraunts, Dellis etc.
We go to the store every shift to buy meals for the day. As long as we dont block any of the prime parking or park in the fire lane the citizens dont complain.
We do however have a rule that no more than one unit can be at a store at the same time, unless its for a walthrough etc. Multiple units can not shop at the same time because of the impression it sends to the public.
How else are they supposed to eat? How are they eating now? A department that does not allow this is seriously not thinking about the well being of there firemen.
I don't see any reasoning to NOT park in the fire lane. Why wouldn't you? If you catch a fire there and it needs to be used, you would be the ones called anyway. We also don't have parking lots at many of our stores, or if we do, they are underground since it's a large city. It would be stupid NOT to park in the fire lane.
I don't see any reasoning to NOT park in the fire lane
In most states, an authorized emergency vehicle may: park irrespective of, or contrary to normal traffic laws, but only in an emergent situation. Normally, it is illegal to park in a fire lane. If the apparatus is not on an emergency, then by parking in the fire lane, that apparatus (and the operator) are violating the law.
When my apparatus venture out to the store, we do not park in the fire lanes. We are not above the law in this situation.
Yes, our department will leave the station for dinner. What we USUALLY do is we'll bring a lunch from home then cook or go out for dinner depending upon our day's schedule. When we do go out it is within district and we will try to make one big trip or get it while we're coming back from a call. For instance, if we also need fuel, we'll get both fuel and groceries in one trip to conserve fuel. We'll split the cost of dinner with whoever pays which makes the meal cheaper. And if we do need to run to a store that is out of district (ie. walmart) we let the other station know that we are not in our district and to listen out for in our area. In turn, we also listen and if there is a call that is around the corner from where we are, we'll take it for that station. I dont know if you have that luxury but that's how we work it out.
I agree with Mr. Gold about the Pros and Cons. The more GOOD PR and simple education of a firefighter lifestyle the less negative feedback is generally received regarding being out in the public's eye. I feel our fire department has pretty good relationship with the town people we serve. Very seldom do we receive negativity while in public.