Fire fighters voice opinions on Bridger Canyon FD alcohol proposal


BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Bridger Canyon Fire Department's Board of Trustees held a meeting Wednesday night to ask: What do fire fighters think of allowing alcohol in the community room?

"We have to give everyone fair and equal consideration" said Trustee Mike Conn, to the group of around 13 fire fighters.

Conn said the proposal came about after community members, who helped pay to build the room, want to allow wine and beer in the room for certain occasions.

That community room- where the meeting was held- sits in the middle of the station.

"This isn't just a community room. This isn't just a training room. This is our home" said one of the women fire fighters. "I'm afraid that that's going to be affected."

Fire fighters said no way, this room is part of their station- even if it's for the community. And some say if something bad happens, they wonder how it'll affect their image.

"An intoxicated person loses their life because they were drinking at Bridger Canyon Fire Department, is a little more damaging to our reputation" said one of the firemen.

Conn listened, and explained that community members told him they want to feel like the room is theirs, too.

But the fire fighters say things may get serious if trustees approve.

"Some of us, apparently, are definitely going to quit it if happens. Some of us are seriously considering quitting if that happens" said fire fighter Larry Blackwood.

Conn said if they do allow it, they'll set specific rules and regulations. And while he's receiving strong views from both sides, he's hoping he can make everyone happy.

"Our number one concern is to protect the department" Conn said, adding "but also we have a whole community here, that we have to try to reach a reasonable accommodation with."

Conn said he thinks the decision is really up in the air, and he has no idea what will happen.

Trustees are expected to vote on the matter during their meeting Monday night.