Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Pol Pushes Drug, Alcohol Testing for All Mass. Public Safety Workers

BOSTON -- The battle over firefighter drug testing is headed to Beacon Hill after a lawmaker filed a bill to require drug and alcohol screening for all public safety workers in Massachusetts.

The proposal, filed by Rep. Christopher Donelan (D-Orange), requests that "public safety employees and emergency medical technicians employed by the commonwealth and its political subdivisons be required to submit to drug and alcohol testing.'' The testing would have to comply with standards set by the state Executive Office of Public Safety.

Robert McCarthy, president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, blasted the proposal, saying: ''We don't oppose (drug testing). But it should be negotiated at the bargaining table. It shouldn't be imposed.''

He added that he was 'shocked'' a lawmaker would file sweeping legislation without consulting the union, which represents 200 municipal fire departments statewide.

Donelan could not be reached for comment last night.

The bill comes in the wake of the deaths of Boston firefighters Paul Cahill and Warren Payne, who died battling an August blaze in West Roxbury. Sources briefed on the pair's autopsy reports have told the Herald that Cahill's blood alcohol level was triple the legal limit and that Payne had traces of cocaine in his system.

A Boston Fire Department probe of the fire found no evidence the men were impaired, but the investigation did not include a review of the toxicology results.

Asked about Donelan's proposal, Mayor Thomas M. Menino's spokeswoman Dot Joyce said: ``We continue to push for drug and alcohol testing in our contract discussions with the firefighters union. All of our other public safety agencies already have random drug and alcohol testing.''

RELATED ARTICLES

Virginia USAR Team Mobilizes for Nepal

Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue team is on the way to quake site.

Global Rescuers Converge on Nepal

Teams and relief agencies respond to earthquake disaster.

Over 2,500 Killed in Nepal Quake

Landslides and aftershocks cause fear in survivors and hinder rescue efforts.

FERNO's New 'Proof of Concept' Ambulance has the EMS Industry Talking

You'll hear a lot more about this innovative new ambulance interior, so I will just highlight what its most impressive offerings are to me: Interchangable, c...

Washington State Signs Community Paramedicine Bill into Law

With a lot of passion and perseverance, it’s possible to change the history of EMS.

Firefighters Rescue Man Who Wedged Inside Wall to Evade Cops

A central Indiana man who hid inside a wall in his home to avoid arrest had to berescued by firefighters after he became wedged next to its chimney for ...

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers