The CFS Alert Merged Thread

bossdog

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Does anybody know how I can get information on the General Duty tours to CFS Alert? I know we used to have them in our base routine orders, but they're not there anymore. Any ideas or links would be greatly appreciated.
 

axeman

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apply through your chain of command for it i know a guy thats finished his just a while ago  he says it was an excallent chance to save money and work out
 

bossdog

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Before I do that, I would like some solid information to include in my memo suchas dates, duties, etc.
 

Griswald DME

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I understand a few years ago a fellow raised a stink about the "indoors only" smoking policy at CFS Alert and it was changed.  Because if not theres no way in hell I'm going back there to expose my lungs to that crap.  Anyone been to Alert this year can fill me in on the latest?


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Griswald DME

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CFL said:
A lot of places have special rooms with extensive air systems.

At CFS Alert!??  Amazing!  When I was in Alert they had nothing remotely like this - there was HVAC of course, but that only recirculates the air into each room.  When did all the special rooms with air systems go in?
 

Scoobie Newbie

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No sorry to throw you off.  What I meant was that in other CF establishments (ie. messes) there has been this debate as well and they have made smoking rooms.  As far as Alert is concerned I have no specifics.
 

Cpl4Life

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CFL said:
No sorry to throw you off.   What I meant was that in other CF establishments (ie. messes) there has been this debate as well and they have made smoking rooms.   As far as Alert is concerned I have no specifics.

CFL, Alert is quite different from most postings because of its remoteness.   The max. time you can be posted there is six months.   The smoking policy when I was there was also indoor only.   You couldn't smoke outside.   You could smoke in your room (including your bed if you were that dumb), you could smoke in all common areas, you could smoke in the sh*tter if you wanted - anywhere but the mess.

Hey Griswald when were you there?   Did you fly to Thule then on to Alert?
 

Cloud Cover

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Gris .. can you actually refuse to go for that reason alone? And if so, what do you think the repercussions would be?
 

Scott

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No!!

But, two years ago in the Yo Yo Oilfield, Northeastern BC there was a rig hand killed almost the same way. In BC now you can't smoke anywhere but designated "cancer closets". The rig camp that this lad was staying at didn't have one so they were forces outside to smoke. One afternoon the poor chap struck a match to light his dart and was mauled almost immediately by a Grizzly. Thoughts are that Smoky was doing dumpster rounds and was startled by the rigger and decided to eat him for his sins.

I was just trying to put a humorous twist on how serious people get about the smoking/non smoking debate.
 

pbi

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Folks: having been down this painful and somewhat confusing road over the last two years with the twelve or so messes we have in our Bde back home, I can tell you that there is no repeat no smoking permitted in any CF building any longer, including messes and rec centres. None. Nada. No vents, no smoking areas, no "grandfathering" for old buildings. Any mess that is still permitting smoking indoors is in violatoin of the CF policy and is risking being closed. CFS Alert may be a unique exception but I doubt it.

Our Bde Comd fenced with the "system" for a while over this issue in our Bde, especially due to pressure from those of our messes with large numbers of Associates who still had the habit. We had several "exceptions" in operation around the Bde. Finally, the new CF policy came out and ended it all. In the end, it's outdoors you go.

As a non-smoker, who hates the stink on his clothing that being around smokers leaves, I really have no sympathy. We don't encourage people to spit or piss on the floor either (well, not usually....) so I don't know exactly why we would encourage this other unsanitary and unpleasant habit either. Cheers.
 
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Pbi, I understand your feelings on smoking, and I don't know how the policy was implemented in your location, but there was certainly a lot of bad feelings generated in my last posting (Kingston) over the smoking issue in our mess. I am referring to the drinking mess only; everyone understood the reason for the ban in work areas and dining facilities (in fact, it had been that way for several years already). It was the way it was done that upset people...

  CFB Kingston brought in its smoking ban in messes 1 May 2003 if I remember correctly. The members were not consulted, which is definitely an issue when you must pay dues but have no input on policy. At a meeting, we were told the messes were going smoke free because the city of Kingston was bringing in a non smoking bylaw, and the messes had to comply. When a member brought up the fact that the mess stands on federal land, and city bylaws do not apply, there was embarrased silence from the gentleman chairing the meeting. No one in the audience knew at that time that the smoking ban in messes was going to be Forces wide as of 1 January; the base commander was basically deflecting the blame onto someone else. This piece of dishonesty was duly noted by the members...
  The mess comittee tried for a separate, ventilated room... denied...
  An outside, heated shelter... denied...
  A patio with propane heaters... denied (as a "fire hazard", funny this didn't apply to the barbeques...)
  These would have been paid for by the members out of mess funds after a vote, and would have cost the military nothing... In short, any effort to be accomodating and find a compromise was refused, so members who pay compulsory dues are forced to stand outside. This, in my opinion is wrong...
 

pbi

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I am fully in agreement with the policy that says that no public money or resources will be spent to facilitate smoking. It is a dying habit (no pun intended...)

However, there is always the possibility that the ban on this particular habit could be unreasonably spread to include another potentially unhealthy (but currently much more acceptable...) habit: the consumption of alcohol, one that I do enjoy. I would consider this an extreme measure, but I can imagine it might be egged on by aggrieved smokers who might think: "Well, I lost the right to my habit, so you'll lose the right to yours too." A nightmare scenario perhaps.

That notwithstanding, the ban on smoking was long overdue and was only a matter of time once municipalities started to do it. Cheers.
 

PPCLI Guy

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pbi said:
However, there is always the possibility that the ban on this particular habit could be unreasonably spread to include another potentially unhealthy (but currently much more acceptable...) habit:

I vote for the establishment of a Designated Fat Pill Room, right next to the smoking area...
 

Scott

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Currently in Alberta you can still smoke in drinking Establishments or other places that minors do not frequent, I know it's different in Edmonton but here in Grande prairie they're still pretty tolerant. Now, I do alot of work over the border into BC where you must, at a restaurant, smoke in a designated area (Cancer closet) but when you go to a nightclub that isn't equipped with such amenities you are forced to the curb. I had my first run in with this while in Kelowna working on the fires a year ago, had my beer and wanted some tar, sparked up and was forcefully removed from the establishment by the staff. After some talk I was allowed back in but NO SMOKING. Fine, I am alright with that, it's a bit hard to remember that sort of thing when you're pissed but I am still OK with it.

A place of work. We allow smoking at work in designated areas only, non smokers get whiffs, sure, but we seem to have a group of guys that aren't too militant when it comes to enforcing non smokers rights.

pbi, this might interest you, a few years ago while I was still volunteering in NS the town passed the bylaw that smoking will no longer be allowed in town buildings. This automatically applied to the Fire Dept. Today, four years later I can safely say that right now the boys are enjoying some cold draft and hot smokes while waiting for the days football games to start. Are they in violation? Of course. Should offenders be punished if caught? I guess. The way I look at that scenario is that these are not "employees", they inhabit a part of a building and normally no one form outside the Dept comes in. No harm done I say. I will state that the last time I was back there I did notice that if they had non smokers in the building that they would go to the bay floor to smoke, I think that's fair.

I didn't start smoking for the health benefits of all the vitamins in 'em, I know it's killing me and has the potential to harm those around me. But I think that if I do it in a manner to lessen the exposure of others as much as possible then there should not be a witch hunt for me and I do believe that is what alot of these campaigns turn into.

Just Thoughts
 

pbi

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Scott: Volunteer firefighters (as you and I have discussed in the past) are sort of unique creatures: neither fish nor fowl, especially in those communities in the US where they are wholly unpaid. If the station is actually a kind of private club, then I guess the rules don't apply.

On the smoking ban, I am not trying to be a rectal orifice, but for me it is a pretty visceral thing. I don't allow smoking in my home, period, if my son wants to smoke he goes out on the sidewalk (I don't allow it in the garage either). At this point I'm going to drop this issue. Cheers.
 

Scott

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pbi said:
Scott: Volunteer firefighters (as you and I have discussed in the past) are sort of unique creatures: neither fish nor fowl, especially in those communities in the US where they are wholly unpaid. If the station is actually a kind of private club, then I guess the rules don't apply.

On the smoking ban, I am not trying to be a rectal orifice, but for me it is a pretty visceral thing. I don't allow smoking in my home, period, if my son wants to smoke he goes out on the sidewalk (I don't allow it in the garage either). At this point I'm going to drop this issue. Cheers.

Good points. On both topics.
 
R

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When I was last in Alert (97) smoking was inside ONLY.  I haven't smoked for years but seem to recall that there was a potential problem with all the spilled fuel frozen into the ground.  Is this possible?  During the dark months it could get pretty #@*! cold on the lungs. 

I don't think there have been many polar bears around the camp but lots of wolves.  I saw pictures from a Summary Investigation into a wolf killed in Alert.  The wolf bit someone for some reason.  I spent lots of time outside and had wolves come close but they never seemed aggressive. 

I wouldn't (try to) turn down a tour in Alert because you are worried about second-hand smoke.  There are lots of smoke-free places in Alert.  You don't have to expose yourself to it at all.   
 

Griswald DME

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pbi said:
CFS Alert may be a unique exception but I doubt it.

Don't kid yourself man, CFS Alert absolutely *is*a unique exception.  If you've been there you know what I'm talking about.  And I highly advise anyone with an adverse reaction to inhaling cigarette smoke to find the policy out prior to being shipped there.

When I was there, just under two years ago, the policies you just wrote about were already in place at any of the bases I had been to.  But at Alert, the CO has the final word, and CFS Alert DID NOT fall under the smoking regulations that other bases did.  You could smoke anywhere you wanted except the mess.  Believe me, I hate cigarette smoke and as soon as I was home I went up the chain of command to find out.  As a result, I have letters from Ottawa reiterating the CO has the final say at Alert, and the no-smoking policy does not apply at Alert unless the CO says it does.

The fellow who asked if you can refuse, I don't know but if I end up with a posting to Alert again I'm going to find out before I go.  I know there was a guy about two years ago who kicked up a stink about it while he was there, and they basically booted him out for complaining about it.  I think he had an allergic reaction or something to the smoke.

Sidenote: Alert is actually a Station, not a Base, (hence the CFS) but they still do postings there, but they are always restricted postings.

So, anyone BEEN to Alert in the past year or so that want to kindly fill me in on if the policy has changed? I'm going to see if my unit can find out any info. for me, but if anyone's been there recently that would be the best way of finding out the true policy.

And CplForLife we stayed in Thule both on the way there and back, pretty interesting base - did you get a chance to check it out?
 
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