“It’s totally uncalled for,” Fire Chief Darren Yuhas said.
But Mayor Marc Schrieks says the borough, which owns the firehouses, needs to have control over what happens in its buildings. Council members were also concerned about the possibility of underage firefighters getting their hands on alcohol, Schrieks said.
“We all thought it was in the best interests to curtail the potential access to alcohol,” Schrieks said.
“They [the borough’s firefighters] are totally upset,” said Yuhas, who attended the meeting with about 30 uniformed firefighters.
Firefighters are upset that a northern New Jersey town is seeking to place limits on alcohol in firehouses.
The Lodi Borough Council has introduced an ordinance that would require approval for any function in which alcohol is consumed in the town’s three firehouses.
The borough manager would submit the information to the town’s liability insurance carrier, which would determine whether the function would be covered. If not, the fire department would have to obtain its own coverage.
Mayor Marc Shrieks tells The Record newspaper council members are concerned about underage firefighters drinking.
Fire Chief Darren Yuhas says alcohol is stored in a locked area so there’s little risk of underage drinking. A hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for Sept. 18.
The fire chief said sometimes members will have a beer after battling a blaze, but said the restriction could affect the functions hosted at firehouses.
The mayor said twelve events would be allowed per year with approval required 45 days in advance.
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Also on STATter911 …
- Lodi, NJ moving forward with fire department alcohol ban. Now working with fire officials to modify ordinance covering firehouse bar & related issues. – September 20, 2012
- New Jersey chief orders bars closed at two firehouses. Comes after member’s DUI crash in parking lot. – October 25, 2012
- Hillsdale, NJ councilmember resigns after saying firefighters ‘do a lot of drinking’. News coverage doesn’t say anything about firehouse alcohol policy. – May 9, 2012
- Now the rest of the story: Articles make clear Hillsdale, NJ firehouse bar policy. Councilman who quit claims he observed drinking at fire department meetings. – May 10, 2012
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