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Friday, June 12, 2015

Fire chief: Decision to respond when drinking up to firefighters

Chief Don Johnson said there was no indication that firefighter Steve Ackerman was too intoxicated to do his job

A volunteer fire department reportedly leaves it up to firefighters on whether or not to respond to a call after they have consumed alcohol.

The Argus Leader reported that an autopsy released last week revealed firefighter Steve Ackerman, a Valley Springs firefighter who died in an April 12 house fire, had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit to drive.

Fire Chief Don Johnson said Ackerman didn’t drive a fire truck to the scene — he rode in the truck with other firefighters. This raised a question after officials released their final report on the blaze.

Chief Don Johnson said the department policy for drinking is: "if you are not functional, don't show up."

The decision whether to respond is solely up the firefighter, Johnson said. Discussions about amending the policy have taken place, but nothing has come from it, according to the report.

"If you had one beer and you're going to a fire or a grass fire, it's no big deal," Johnson said. "I like to enjoy a beer with my pizza too."

At no point, Johnson said, was there any indication that fallen firefighter Steve Ackerman was too intoxicated to do his job. He credited Ackerman's judgment in evacuating the home, according to the report.

"He was the one to yell at the other two to get out," Johnson said. "He was the one who saw something go south."



Anonymous said...

Many of the guys around here respond intoxicated. And I have got on board with a guy who had liquor on his breath. When I said something later I was told he has 40+ years...... He does that. Smdh.

Anonymous said...

To 10:02 you are absolutely right about the guys around here. Most are functioning alcoholics. Then you have one in particular that abuses narcotics. It's pretty bad when you can use the system and go to your primary doctor, then Your Docs In, and pop into the ER and get all you want within the same week and this has been going on for years now. If your health is that bad, then retire. Or here is an them...there are a liability to the welfare of others. Also this is why health care premiums are so high. Because you have so many that abuse the system who go to the doctor for every little ache and pain every other week and just to get pills! But of course they are all in the "good ole' boys" pack. No tattle tails !

Anonymous said...

entitlement Alcoholism driving drunk

that little plate means they won't ever get stopped and they flaunt it.

Time to make the claim their insurance costs the Town way too much to allow them to occupy barstools all over town.