No more firefighter trips to grocery stores
In my six years covering city hall in Lincoln, one of the most common complaints I heard from readers was — I am not kidding — about firefighters doing grocery shopping while on the clock.
They did not think firefighters should shop for food while on duty — even though this is pretty standard nationwide (at least that’s what the union head told me) and if a call comes in, the firefighters drop everything and go.
Well, apparently that practice is about to end in Lincoln. Coby Mach of “Drive Time Lincoln” is reporting that the city’s former police chief and new public safety director, Tom Casady, intends to end the practice. But apparently not just to avoid the appearance of inactivity — to save money on gas.
What do you think? I have to say, I’ve never encountered a firefighter in a grocery store — although I’ve seen firetrucks parked outside many a store and restaurant where they appeared to be making a pit stop.
I don’t believe I’ve ever gone grocery shopping while on the clock — but then I got a lunch break and other “coffee breaks” every day. Still, I never could figure out why firefighters couldn’t just bring their food with them to the fire station, just as most workers bring their lunch to work.
Then again, if this is one of the biggest gripes we have about the fire department, life is pretty good in Lincoln, Neb.