Issue 10 and Volume 142.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICIES VOLUNTEERS CORNER EVERY DEPARTMENT has or should have rules and regulations regarding drug abuse and use. These rules are generally very simple and state that members should not use alcohol or any illegal substances while on duty. Unfortunately, the issue is much too complex for this blanket statement. Every department must establish a specific policy on drugs and alcohol in the workplace. Organizations today, including volunteer fire departments, must clearly understand the issues surrounding use and abuse of mind-altering chemicals, including alcohol, as well as the potential problems. But many departments do not take action until disaster strikes—in the form of a citizen complaint, a vehicle accident, or the wrongful death of a civilian or firelighter. Detection policies and an action plan for cases that require disciplinary action must be established and enforced. DANGERS OF DRINKING Although alcohol is a drug, it must be addressed separately…

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