Volusia County is taking over ambulance services and the anti-smoking policy of county employees could cost some ambulance crew members and paramedics their jobs.
Ambulance employees are currently allowed to smoke if they were hired before the anti-smoking policy took effect earlier this year, but now that those employees will become county workers, all of them will have to pass nicotine tests to keep their jobs.
Volusia County's administration said the policy is a health issue and they do not want taxpayers to pay for expensive health care costs of county employees who smoke. County officials said they also believe they are not invading anyone's privacy.
"When you work for a public agency there really is no such thing as invasion of privacy. They work for the public you know and that's part of the price," Dave Byron of Volusia County said.
(bold emphasis mine)
"Just dial up the heat under the kettle boys, looks like these frogs still think it's a hot tub!"
Ah, the petty tyrannies of local governments and the creep of incrementalism. I think what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Statistically, you're much more likely to contract HIV if you have unprotected anal sex with gay Haitian IV heroin abusers. So why don't we require ol' Dave Byron to submit to HIV and STD testing, monthly drug testing, and tap his phones to see if knows any gays or Haitians? After all, he's a public servant, too. Why should he have any expectation of privacy?
I could say a lot of things here, but someone else said it best:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. ~ C.S. Lewis
How about something more sensible and less Big Brotherish, like requiring their employees who smoke to contribute a higher percentage to their health insurance premiums?
Naaaaah, that'd never work!