Alas, Fireman88 from Buttasscold, Michigan (A false name I found out) never responded to my messages, nor in the comments, so what they did in this situation remains a mystery, but I know what I would have done.
First of all, I don’t think this needs to even be mentioned to the Chief, unless this department is so small that the Chief is the front line supervisor. Secondly, I have a responsibility to report unsafe conditions to appropriate municipal agencies, it’s part of that whole swearing to support and defend the constitution part of what I do.
When I was faced with a similar situation I completed my preplan, as required, then returned to the station to INQUIRE about cleanliness standards in our area. The agency responsible for enforcing food temperatures and the like was out of the office for the weekend but would follow up as soon as possible. I didn’t make a big deal about it, but since I had enjoyed eating there a number of times, I felt it my civic duty to pass along what I had seen to folks in the know.
The fact that this business owner was involved in the chili cookoff doesn’t even enter into it in my opinion and it is not a Fire Department matter. But I would also hope that should the Food Inspector see something that they believe is a fire hazard, they simply do their job and give us a call to make that determination.
If you said call someone who knows better, you made my call. If you’re ignoring me, you made Fireman88′s call.
A bit of side business real quick, I’ve got a couple more You Make the Call situations in the pipeline, but a friend of mine is looking at forming a training specific program for them, so it may be a bit before I let them go. Until then, you can read about my EMS exploits and other ramblings.