Hi, I am trying to answer my forms with honesty and completeness. Over 2 years ago I smoked marijuana while working for a humanitarian non-profit. I will report the drug usage fully, but I am unsure about classifying it as drug use that occurred “while in a position immediately and directly affecting public safety.”
Is this ‘immediate/direct’ phrase designed for law enforcement, fire officials, environmental protection, etc. or should I be liberal with my interpretation of this to be safe?
We considered ourselves “second responders” (an unofficial term) and waited for police and fire to clear a scene before approaching. We worked with disaster clients in their recovery after disasters had occurred, but didn’t get involved with “immediate” response. We didn’t have any federal distinction or authority (or benefits) as public safety officials. No clearances or public trust investigations were given to any employee. We didn’t drug test. “Real” public safety officials like EMS and 911 dispatch worked with us on an at-will basis as there was no obligation for them to do so. In fact, we were frequently ignored by them.
However, we did offer free smoke detectors in our community and trained ourselves and others to open emergency shelters. To me this feels “indirect” or not “immediate” as we wouldn’t be called first if a disaster really happened. We were sometimes involved ‘directly,’ but not immediately (ie. opening a shelter). If we happened to be on scene ‘immediately,’ it was never direct as we were not first responders.
Obviously, the BI will have my drug history and employment history and can make the “immediate/direct” distinction themselves, but I want to avoid a headache for both of us.
If I say “yes,” I’m afraid I won’t get a chance to explain and may be DQ’ed outright.
Would it be dishonest to say “no” if I genuinely feel I can justify my answer in an interview? Will I have a chance to defend myself if they call this into question?