Should there be a limit on how often kids hang out at firehouses?
Baseball player Adam LaRoche abruptly retired after he was told to scale back his son's time in the clubhouse; so we asked our readers if there should be a limit on having kids at the station
Last week, Chicago White Sox infielder Adam LaRoche abruptly retired after a team executive told him to scale back how much time his 14-year-old son spent in the clubhouse during spring training. Officials with the team claimed that kids are still permitted in the clubhouse but not every day, saying no job would allow that.
Firefighting, even more so than baseball, is a profession passed from generation to generation. And that indoctrination into the fire service culture, partly through time spent at the firehouse, begins at an early age.
It led us to ask our readers who got to hang out at the fire station as a kid, who brings their kids to the station and is there a limit on how much is too much? Here are some of their responses.
And if you haven't already, sound off in the comment section below.
"I can remember going to the station with my grandfather and mom at their old ladder company. It's because of that I'm a firefighter and my kids are always welcome at my station." — Billy Wood
"If mom or dad is at the firehouse waiting for a call to come in and their kid is there with them, there should always be another responsible adult family member there monitoring the kid. In all honesty, while you are at the station, you're a firefighter, not a babysitter." — John Grauel
"Adam LaRoche brought his kid to 120 games in one year. Bring your kid to 66 percent of your shifts and see how well that works out." — Jonathan Clementine
"I grew up at the fire station with my dad, but I was a kid who didn't need supervision. We always had a few people stay back at the station, no matter the call. Having said that, my son spends time at the station with his dad, but only when I'm there or another person is there who won't be riding the truck. No kids on scenes. Ever. It's not safe. It takes up mental resources that can't be devoted to the call and too many injuries/LODDs in fire apparatus wrecks." — Sara Wood
"There is a huge difference between being a firefighter and a baseball player. We are on shift for 24 hours, games last three to four hours, we go to dangerous situation, they hit and catch a ball. We are open to the public, all kinds of people, they have security everywhere! Our families are welcome anytime, dinner, lunch or just to visit. But there is no comparison." — Victor J Muno
"From the small volunteer department side, it is getting harder and harder to get members. Our department allows kids in the station all the time and on our maintenance meeting night. This has helped us get more participation from all members and helps us keep good people. At one point, we had a fire mom that would respond to the station and watch any of the kids that we needed while we were on call." — Matt Cassey Ribble
"My son, along with the remaining kids of the other members, are always invited to come and visit. Being away for 24 hours or longer is hard for kids to understand so a brief visit or dinner is totally acceptable." — Dan Thomas
"I grew up around the station, and as long as you're mindful of your child or children and actually understand when is acceptable to have them around the station, I don't see a problem with it. My son is only 10 months old so I don't bring him with me a lot, but as he grows up I'd like to get him more involved. Volunteerism is dying off and I think the best way to bring it back is to start the interest young." — Brian Ziegler
"I was practically raised in the firehouse where my dad was stationed." — Joey Avalos
"Eating dinner is one thing or a "brief visit." But when a call drops and you've got an 8-year-old with you, what do you do? Leave him alone at the station and hope for the best? Or bring them on the truck? I don't see many policies saying that's OK. That was an adult man throwing a fit because he could not get his own way. Work is work." — Samuel Bowler