Drinking Guidelines for Firefighters

ALBERT LEA, MN — Volunteer firefighters are usually on-call as needed in many of our local communities.

So how does that impact when it’s ok to have an alcoholic beverage?

With manpower critical in fighting fires, more departments have instituted guidelines that deal with drinking.

The Albert Lea Fire Department is one of those.

With five firefighters on duty, and more than 90-percent of their staff on call at all times, these guidelines are in place to keep everybody, including themselves safe.
“Our standard operating guidelines says if you’ve had more than two drinks don’t bother to show up,” Albert Lea Director of Public Safety Dwaine Winkels said. “If you’ve had less than two drinks, you can show up, but report to your supervisor and let them know you’ve been consuming alcohol and they will put you in a non-critical position.”
He says at the city level, they don’t allow alcohol in the fire quarters.

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