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Firefighter resigns after controversial Facebook post

The firefighter commented on a call he had responded to; three others are facing disciplinary action for 'liking' the post

By FireRescue1 Staff

COLUMBUS, Miss. — A Mississippi firefighter has resigned after posting a controversial comment on his Facebook page.

Columbus Firefighter Brad Alexander, a 12-year veteran and former county Rookie of the Year, wrote a post regarding an incident where a 2-year-old was hit by a car. The original post, now removed, allegedly stated that the child was unattended and called into question the location of the mother, according to the Dispatch.

Along with his resignation, two other firefighters and a police department officer are facing disciplinary action for "liking" the post.

Firefighter Alexander has met with Columbus Mayor Robert Smith to discuss the matter.

He has posted an apology on his Facebook page:

"Hello all, I made a very poor decision on making a comment here the other day. Please let me apologize for my disrespect and stupidity. To all my co-workers who this reflected on, I am deeply sorry. Also to all the citizens I swore to serve. Please allow me to earn your trust again."

Many people have posted messages of support in response.




Comments
The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FireRescue1.com or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Michael Torosian Michael Torosian Tuesday, September 04, 2012 1:14:44 PM Simple...don't post stuff about work, especially when victims and the public are involved.
Hallsville Vol. Fire Dept ESD #5 Hallsville Vol. Fire Dept ESD #5 Tuesday, September 04, 2012 1:23:22 PM This is exactly why we should not be putting anything on facebook that pertains to our scene's, whether its small or large it's not good idea at all.
Shanda King Shanda King Tuesday, September 04, 2012 1:24:05 PM I don't think you should ever post about something that happened on a call. You want to respect the privacy of all involved. You would not want your doctor to post your test results on facebook. Have some respect for the victims even if you don't think they deserve it.
Karen Starr Berryhill Martin Karen Starr Berryhill Martin Tuesday, September 04, 2012 1:27:47 PM and THIS is what's wrong with Mississippi, This man and all firefighters and law enforcement put their lives on the line everyday for us and this is what happens when he post something on his PERSONAL wall, what happen to freedom of speech? AND WHERE WAS THE MOTHER of this child, has someone looked in to that? Chances are NO!
Karen Starr Berryhill Martin Karen Starr Berryhill Martin Tuesday, September 04, 2012 1:35:28 PM oh and by the way you can respect the privacy by not calling the name of the person...
Jane Mann Jane Mann Tuesday, September 04, 2012 1:45:57 PM Yep, definitely don't post about work, especially when victims and public are involved. I suggest people blast FaceBook with all their personal shit just like I do.
Jane Mann Jane Mann Tuesday, September 04, 2012 1:46:16 PM sorry Mike, I couldn't help myself!
Michael Torosian Michael Torosian Tuesday, September 04, 2012 1:49:42 PM that doesn't matter...we get called to help...where the mother was is the problem of Children's Services...not up to us to prosecute the mom...Just be professional!
Jonathan Gilley Jonathan Gilley Tuesday, September 04, 2012 1:59:14 PM I would have stated my concerns in the report and then maybe contact DCF or the local Police Department. I agree that social media was not the best idea for him.
Barry Taylor Barry Taylor Tuesday, September 04, 2012 2:06:02 PM If you should need to write anything, put this in after your post! “Disclaimer! Any comments I make on Facebook are my own personal views and have no connection with any other organization I work for e.g. (contracted to employed by or carry out casual duties for) I am the sole responsible person for my comments. This is a legal binding statement.
Karen Starr Berryhill Martin Karen Starr Berryhill Martin Tuesday, September 04, 2012 2:18:31 PM I didnt see the post however, his opinion is his and he should be allowed to make it... its no different than a passer by seeing it and asking the same thing... Children Services dont do its job right most the time so its up to everyday people to protect kids.
Michael Torosian Michael Torosian Tuesday, September 04, 2012 2:29:30 PM I didn't see the post either...obviously he resigned and apologized for a reason...that reason is he was wrong. You can not be a professional and talk about your job like that on facebook, twitter, myspace or even at a bar...I agree his opinion is his opinion and his opinion should be kept to himself and not aired out in public or cyberspace. My point about Children Services, whether they do their job or not is that it is not the firefighter's job to question and decide if she is a good mom...he is, or should be trained to recognize abuse or mistreatment. Training teaches us to notify whatever protective services, who is responsible and capable to handle it. to sum it up...keep your shit about work off facebook.
Danny LaShelle Danny LaShelle Tuesday, September 04, 2012 2:46:36 PM All though he was wrong to post that comment, He should not lose his job over it. A second offense would be different.
Karen Starr Berryhill Martin Karen Starr Berryhill Martin Tuesday, September 04, 2012 2:47:34 PM unless he called the childs name or the mothers name I don't see where he did anything wrong, he gave his opinion just like any one else has the right to. He is trained to protect the public and I see that is what he is done... as far as him resigning, no one knows why he did that, knowing the people in Mississippi he was forced to. People are so worried about being able to get the votes to get back in to office, They don't care about what happens to the people that are there to protect the people that vote for them, they figure that if they get rid of the one that spoke their opinion they will gain 50 votes. You aren't from that state and if you were, I am sure you would feel the same way. Good luck where ever you are.
LaRisa Morace LaRisa Morace Tuesday, September 04, 2012 3:31:22 PM True!
John J Sibley-Prusak John J Sibley-Prusak Tuesday, September 04, 2012 5:07:00 PM I guess our First Amendment Right is gone in this country!
John J Sibley-Prusak John J Sibley-Prusak Tuesday, September 04, 2012 5:12:53 PM F.Y.I. HIPAA: The Office for Civil Rights enforces the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information; the HIPAA Security Rule, which sets national standards for the security of electronic protected health information; and the confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Rule, which protect identifiable information being used to analyze patient safety events and improve patient safety.
Ert Srt Shaft Ert Srt Shaft Tuesday, September 04, 2012 5:26:10 PM He's still a brother in my eyes!
Justin Smith Justin Smith Tuesday, September 04, 2012 5:47:10 PM There should never be anything posted pertaining to a patient or patient information. It's disrespectfull to the victim and the family members. Put yourself in their shoes. You would like it if it was a member of you family.
Jason Campbell Jason Campbell Tuesday, September 04, 2012 5:47:59 PM Really? If I responded to a call where any child was hit by a car, I would wonder about the same thing. I may even post about it (without posting anything that would ideentify the child or parent). And to discipline someone for "liking" a post? Last time I checked, your opinions are protected by the 1st Amendment.
Steven W. Wilgus Steven W. Wilgus Tuesday, September 04, 2012 6:28:21 PM Michael Torosian some time ago, I posted a statement on the foolishness of allowing Narcan to be purchased without an Rx by a Doctor on an ems site: the "paramedics" attacked me and used "m**f**" and other profanity in what SHOULD have been a dialogue, and also made wild non-pertinent remarks totally divorced from the topic: they missed the point about "enabling behaviors" and NOT PROVIDING COUNCELING. The issue was turned by three "professionals" [per their claims] into personal attacks instead of discussing WHY I think teh way I do. So being professional in every day FB and post-replies is crucial IF YOU WANT TO BE TAKEN AS, AND TREATED AS A "PROFESSIONAL" I always hear Paramedics and FF's wanting to be treated as. EARN it and then PROTECT IT. I am a FF/EMT/ Registered Nurse/Cert Resp Therapist. so yeah, I know a bit about "professionalism" and its Lack Therwof...
Michael King Michael King Tuesday, September 04, 2012 6:55:07 PM I have posted but in super general..."went on a huge wreck on I-10".
Nick Jones Nick Jones Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:08:36 PM Easy fix for FF. Alexander: Don't post anything about calls until you have a full story and you have permission from the company first.
Dottie Di Liddo Dottie Di Liddo Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:13:22 PM disagree, be smart about your facebook posts and you won't get into trouble... no different than a lawyer talking about a case on his wall. If that mother were to go on trial for this alleged neglect, the defense could point to this post as swaying the jury. Be professional.
Dottie Di Liddo Dottie Di Liddo Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:16:33 PM won't help. You might think the mother was neglectful, patient was drunk, a jerk or whatever, but don't write it on a public site, bad choice!
Michael Torosian Michael Torosian Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:18:27 PM true...but not knowing him...I'm guessing it wasn't his first time commenting on a call...I will guess it was just the first one to bite him in the ass.
Dottie Di Liddo Dottie Di Liddo Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:18:40 PM it's pretty easy to figure out if there's a two yo struck by a car who you are talking about names withheld or not. If you really disrespect people that much, maybe you should find a different field to work in
Heidi Rachelle Thompson-Wood RN Heidi Rachelle Thompson-Wood RN Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:21:49 PM I think one of the hardest parts of being a healthcare professional is not being able to vent to anyone really. We have to keep whatever frustration, irritation, etc, to ourselves. It's very tough sometimes.
Guy Hall III Guy Hall III Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:23:50 PM Everyone else gets freedom if speech why not public servants, as long as no names, addresses or personal information is used what's the difference? Everyone always pushes freedom of speech and expression.
Karen Starr Berryhill Martin Karen Starr Berryhill Martin Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:24:02 PM First off I don't work in that field and if I did I would be in the same boat he is in because I believe the mother needs to be charges also but again we are talking about Mississippi, a place where people are more worried about where they will get their next vote than worrying about how the kids are being treated, second thing , he didn't do anything different than person that saw it would have done!
Andy Weyer Andy Weyer Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:47:14 PM Sign of the times people are watching Fire police and EMS like a hawk and we make mistakes they let you know about it.
Jeremy Croteau Jeremy Croteau Tuesday, September 04, 2012 8:10:57 PM I Guess nobody has the right of freedom of speech anymore- where do citys and towns get off on shitcanning employees over what they write on there own personal facebook pages its a violation of the 1st amendment, If they want to write FUCK THE MAYOR on there own personal page, they can that's what's called freedom of speech and the firefighter is dumb for quitting he did nothing wrong no Hippa Laws were violated - the other employees should grieve it and sue the city - if its on a department website is one thing, but for god sakes WTF! All it is is Union Busting, If the Public employees are going to let the citys and towns fire them over the feedom of speech and let them get away with it and not even do anything about it, WELL SHAME ON THEM! Grow some balls and fight back, what's the point of having a union if your members are not going to say a peep. You see how much republicans are trying to pull well deseved union benifits, and after 9-11 firefighters and cops went from heros to zeros and are blamed for the economic collapse, if your not going to fight back well then good luck guys, because If Mitt Romney gets elected and you know what he thinks of unions - he's going to stick the party umbrella up your ass open it up and pull it out WAKE UP!
Shaun Laughlin Shaun Laughlin Tuesday, September 04, 2012 8:20:58 PM Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. I am glad he took it on the chin, and admitted his lapse in judgement. What Brothers and Sisters in the fire service post is always up for public scrutiny, "personal" or not.
Nathaniel-Junior Mitchell Nathaniel-Junior Mitchell Tuesday, September 04, 2012 8:29:51 PM Not everyone gets "freedom" of speech, we have to watch what we say on social media. Here is the best way to put it... if you are not going to say it in front of the person you are directing it to, don't say it at all. Not much about right or wrong, just about right place, right time.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 8:38:36 PM What in the world is going everyone thinks that everything should be put on Facebook. I have been on many calls like this over the 28 plus years I have been in the fire service, you call the PD or child protective services, not post it on a social networking site. This guy should be fired being dumb.
Daniel Thompson Daniel Thompson Tuesday, September 04, 2012 8:50:02 PM The town of Columbus, Mississippi according to the 2000 census was 25,944. Whether or not the names of the victim or the mother were posted, someone knows someone who knows someone. Also, the Hippa Act requires professionals who deal with people with health issues keep patient information confidential. And although this is hypothetical, what if the mom was dealing with another child on the porch and this little one got away from her sights? It happens all the time. If you're a parent you know what I'm saying. It may not be neglect at all. I did not see the post either, however, depending on what was said the mom may have legal avenues coming her way. Its called defamation of character.
John Crowley John Crowley Tuesday, September 04, 2012 9:12:09 PM It's not freedom of speach when you are a government employee. One is always a representative of who they work for. Unless you say " a a private citizen I feel". However I am sure that he gained his insight being on the job. If the statement was not factual then he made a slanderous statement. If that hurt a reputaion the department and he could.be liable for slander or defamation of.charicter. One needs to be judicious in what they post. Yes I think its good he recanyed. However. This error in judgement many can learn from. There is no such thing as freedom of speach, when its ficticious.
Jim Muma Jim Muma Tuesday, September 04, 2012 10:06:39 PM It is not a case of "You want to respect the privacy of all involved", it's that you have to. I did not see the post, however, there is a law called HIPAA. This covers all medical practitioners and does not allow you to discuss the details of a call with anyone not directly involved in that person's care. This could result in a fine for the agency as well as the individual or individuals involved. Most agencies have rules that govern their employees use of social media which makes what he did wrong either way. Our job is to provide objective treatment to all victims and our opinions are to be kept to ourselves.
Harry Hughes Harry Hughes Tuesday, September 04, 2012 10:46:52 PM According to the beginning of this, he resigned. His choice.
Justin Kover Justin Kover Tuesday, September 04, 2012 11:03:24 PM He owned up right. Give him a chance to prove himself again.
Sandra Ferreira Sandra Ferreira Tuesday, September 04, 2012 11:39:50 PM Come on America he apologized - give him a chance. Best wishes Brad.
Pierre-Louis Lamballais Pierre-Louis Lamballais Wednesday, September 05, 2012 12:02:29 AM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hear_Nothing_See_Nothing_Say_Nothing Hidding problem is the easiest way to believe you solve them. Facebook is a reality. It just increase visibility of problems we have for years and that we don't want to see.
Bill Cartwright Bill Cartwright Wednesday, September 05, 2012 12:38:20 AM Michael Torosian So now we are infringing on the right to free speech? I'm chief of my department and would not have had a single problem with a comment on such a matter as long as no names of victims were mentioned. And as long as the poster did not use derogatory/racial slurs. You comment that an apology was given because the firefighter was in the wrong. That may not be the case. We live in such a politically correct society now that victims are semi forced to apologize to the offenders. You, yourself admitted to not seeing the original post on facebook, yet are quick to judge? How do you know this person was right or wrong? You have no idea!
Bill Cartwright Bill Cartwright Wednesday, September 05, 2012 12:47:25 AM As long as the post only spoke in generalizations of the accident and not of any specifics, HIPAA does not apply. HIPAA would only be violated if, IF, specific information was posted about the incident.
Jake Stinson-Realtor Jake Stinson-Realtor Wednesday, September 05, 2012 5:05:38 AM I ask the same
Michael Torosian Michael Torosian Wednesday, September 05, 2012 6:01:08 AM Yes Chief, I do not know this person...I do not know the details at all...so based solely on the article above is where my opinion is formed. At my department, our chief put out a policy...no social media while on duty. So, with me being a person who enjoys free speech, since my other job is in television media that includes news reporting, I conduct myself professional to extend that policy to my personal time and not post things that I did at work. If I was called there to help someone, I should not be discussing details on facebook. And with all due respect sir, if one of your firefighters were at a scene and criticized how you and or one of your officers ran the scene and bring into question your or their competence on facebook, would say, "it's freedom of speech"?
Matthew A. Thatcher Matthew A. Thatcher Wednesday, September 05, 2012 6:04:34 AM I'm sick and tired of people not being able to gave the right of freedom of speech!!! It not a HIPPA violation as long as name , age, addresses and billing info was not release. It no different then the news reporting it.
Marc Kovacs Marc Kovacs Wednesday, September 05, 2012 6:14:44 AM Society does not want us to be involved. Handle the call, forget about it, go home. NOT your problem. I your job is worth it, open your mouth. If you want to care for your family and proviide for yor future......mind your own business. Handle the incident and move on. Not right, but the facts of life and society......
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 6:32:32 AM Once again everyone should remember. Like Las Vegas. FACEBOOK, and any other site on the Internet. IF YOU POST IT. It will stay here forever. Like trying to UNRING a bell. The FIRST Amendment of the Constitution gives you freedom of speech. But there are too many selfish, ugly, dangerous people out there...just waiting to pounce on you, and to destroy your life...with whatever their Low, Miserable Life tells them to say. NOTE: Whatever you post on FACEBOOK...or the INTERNET about yourself, or others. WILL DESTROY YOU eventually. DO NOT TRUST IT.
Joshua LeBlanc Joshua LeBlanc Wednesday, September 05, 2012 6:44:40 AM It may not have been factual what he posted but did he violate hippa and exactly how distasteful was he , or does it even matter. Does he not have a PERSONAL fb page where he can go and have a much needed vent? Seems peculiar that at a time where you can borderline a crime and chalk it up to freedom of "freedom of speech" yet we slam our public safety? Have you read some of the posts of our soldiers/defenders of freedom? How are they afforded more freedom to vent? That being said I do somewhat understand that he represents his department if he has them as his employer... any thoughts?
Joshua LeBlanc Joshua LeBlanc Wednesday, September 05, 2012 6:47:20 AM Seems like pretty good advice definately concerning social medial
Dennis Mallery Dennis Mallery Wednesday, September 05, 2012 7:36:11 AM If the victim can be identified by the post, regardless of how general it is, then it violates the law. Best practice is not to post anything in regards to a call. Even posting photos of an accident, if the license plates are visible, violates HIPAA regulations.
Carla Reece Carla Reece Wednesday, September 05, 2012 8:56:16 AM For that firefighter who had to deal with a pediatric tragedy, I do hope that there is support and assistance there. While not appropriate to make the commentary in a public venue, it is a mechanism of dealing with grief - related to the anger stage - to have these types of thoughts and feelings in teh senseless death or injury to a toddler.
Joshua Schmidt Joshua Schmidt Wednesday, September 05, 2012 11:27:58 AM Be careful what you post when on a call out there guys and girls.
Sean Patrick Murray Sean Patrick Murray Wednesday, September 05, 2012 11:46:09 AM Glad we aren't allowed to have personal opinions in this day and age.
Donnie Shoemaker Donnie Shoemaker Wednesday, September 05, 2012 12:08:39 PM Using this blog is no different than using Facebook or any other web media. Your comments about this firefighter is no different than his comments about another person. Look in the MIRROR! No one forced you to look at Facebook. There is a lot of lessons learned from comments on the different medias.
Michael L. Strong Michael L. Strong Wednesday, September 05, 2012 12:10:13 PM Folks HIPPA does NOT apply as no specifics were discussed. The simple fact that an accident occured is not covered under hippa only the injuries and specific treatments arising out of, and which are provided. Remember traffic accidents are a matter of PUBLIC RECORD so is EVERY call you roll on!
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 12:54:17 PM I'll add my comment here & most likely will offend the PC'ers. Our Freedom of Speech is disappearing, more so now than ever before in our history. Whether it's this mother (who obviously needs parenting skills) or that who was elected as President in the last election. If they don't like what you say, you're in trouble. Me? I'm not PC & don't care what they say about me. The woman ought to have no more children if she can't watch out for em.
Merlin Planer Merlin Planer Wednesday, September 05, 2012 7:36:06 PM The traumatic after effects of 1st Responders are no different then that of anyone else and they have to be ready for the next call at any moment. It is often a release mechanism so they may vent and move on doing what they do best helping others in distress. He should be back on the Job doing what he knows best helping others. Most people don't understand the daily pain 1st responders deal with and still just keep going. I am one and the only way to clear your mind for the next one is often vent. Facebook or not it's a release.
Sarah Senek Sarah Senek Wednesday, September 05, 2012 8:07:21 PM Merlin I agree. An after being involved with foster care I am always wondering where the hell the parents are when bad things happen and a child was not protected, supervised or being kept safe by a responsible parent or adult. I would imagine in your line of work when you experience a trajedy that takes a childs life or causes harm and parent could have and should have prevented it must break your heart as well as enrage you. I know how it tears me up. Fact is if we all keep our mouths shut and our eyes closed don't expect someone else to be there for that child! And don't bank on children services, usually by the time they are involved something tragc has already taken place. Also if they don't take the report serious or they are inexperienced or YOU DOn't KEEP CALLING NOTHING GETS DONE! There are a million kids right now that can prove that true!
Andrew Kutz Andrew Kutz Wednesday, September 05, 2012 8:56:53 PM VERY true and I saw people after the MVA today, not themselves, it weighs heavy.
Brian Smith Brian Smith Thursday, September 06, 2012 1:44:05 AM we ARE working to try to help
Michael Grow Michael Grow Thursday, September 06, 2012 5:52:29 AM Very well put Merlin. And Yes Brian, our Department is working on a plan to offer aide to our people when events occur that stir emotions and frustrations, however what people that don't do our jobs must understand is this; It is our job to see and deal with people at the worst possible times of their lives, and we are expected to be understanding, compassionate and supportive. They tend to forget that under all of the bravado and training, is a human being too. I can recall most every call I've been on, in detail, that someone has died due to unnatural causes. These memories don't haunt my dreams, however they do live with me as reminders and "learning aides," if you will. After 30+ years working in an ambulance, I have come to learn how to cope with these type of events, but I'm not perfect and when the stress builds there MUST be an outlet. The experts that deal with these emotional aftereffects, will agree.
Michael Grow Michael Grow Thursday, September 06, 2012 6:03:53 AM I cannot believe some of the posts I am reading about this! HOW DARE YOU armchair quartebacks sit in front of your computers and judge this man and his co-workers. You should all be ashamed. First, and I have no details of the original post, or the call and whether Firefighter Alexander was even on it, however, Facebook is a Public Forum and this still is the United States, so he has the right to offer his opinion under the First Amendment. If he was in any way disciplined, or pressured to remove the post, he has a legal case for violation of his Civil Rights, as do the others who are being disciplined. I support Firefighter Alexander and his co-workers.
Michael Grow Michael Grow Thursday, September 06, 2012 6:34:23 AM Sorry Michael, But it IS our job. We have an obligation to report neglect and abuse.
Michael Torosian Michael Torosian Thursday, September 06, 2012 6:37:46 AM I agree. In this case, Family Services would be notified...but I am not going to do it through Facebook or any other kind of social media.
Dottie Di Liddo Dottie Di Liddo Thursday, September 06, 2012 6:46:27 AM Just be smart who you vent to, responders here just dealt with an unfathomable crime, yet no one ran to Facebook to vent
Tom Carr Tom Carr Thursday, September 06, 2012 8:52:44 AM As a firefighter for 32 years (retired) I have seen many incidents where we have chewed butts for ignorant parents for allowing their children to get hurt. I did it myself once when the mother did not put her kids in safetybelts but was busy complaining about being late for an apptment while her kids were recieving our treatment.
Fred Kellenberger Fred Kellenberger Thursday, September 06, 2012 9:20:45 AM It wasn't about work. The comment was about a motor vehicle accident. Nothing derogatry, nor insulting, nor was the comment violating anyone's privacy. If anyone off the street made the same comment, this would be accepted under the 1st amendment. Because a career firefighter from Columbus, MS made the comment it's wrong?
Stephen Astalos Stephen Astalos Thursday, September 06, 2012 10:23:48 AM People say its all part of the job but i agree 100% its a release to get yourself through the day. EMS, FIRE, POLICE, we all do it. Sometimes the people who need to talk about stuff dont know how to deal with it so they keep it in. We had this issue at my station a few weeks ago with a few of my firefighters. Its called a brotherhood for a reason. Were all here for eachother. Look at most of your friends on facebook most are like you fire, ems, police it dont matter. So you vent on facebook to vent to people who have gone through similar stuff and maybe get feedback from them not just to bash people. Everyone will admit they dont like to ask for help coping with stuff but there are more ways of asking for help. Maybe thats how that firefighter tried to do it. I dont know didnt see the guys post of facebook just an opinion.
Demetrius Webb Demetrius Webb Thursday, September 06, 2012 10:28:55 AM If you do not like the idea of being goverened by the rules and regulations of the department , then you have two options, either abide by the rules or quit.There are too many lawsuits that are being filed. if you want to report it. get a news job.you are their to serve and not be a judge.I have no problem with freedom of speech, but there is a place for everything..comments concerning a fire, a medical response is not YOUR place to place it on any social network.Stay in your own lane Do your job that you were hired to do and that is to serve and protect lives......The firefighter made a poor judgement call and paid the price for it..I hate it but those are the rules and the City has the right to enforce their rule.his career is not over, someone will give him a second chance.There is a code of conduct for emergency responders.and we go over them during the hiring process..we are civil servants and we must be held to a higher standard..that's how we gain public trust....Walk in those shoes before you make any comment...as I have said stay in your lane on the job and you will be fine.In other words tend to your OWN business.
Patti Polcari Patti Polcari Thursday, September 06, 2012 12:32:23 PM Your so right Heidi, a person has to vent, or eventually blow up in some shape, way or form. Being first on scene has to take its toll in one way or antoher!
Steve Groharing Steve Groharing Thursday, September 06, 2012 1:16:40 PM We all get frustrated when senseless accidents happen to anyone, especially children. Venting usually helps, he just picked the wrong place to do it
Eddie Rogers Eddie Rogers Thursday, September 06, 2012 7:46:42 PM It is not that it violates HIPPA, it is more than that. Fire service personnel are trusted automatically because of the shoes we fill. We cannot violate that trust for any reason and posting "Whatever it is" on facebook is a very good way to violate that trust. What happens on a call stays on the call. END OF STORY.
Flaresun Fire Group, Inc. Flaresun Fire Group, Inc. Saturday, September 08, 2012 9:45:08 AM I have seen firefighters and others just ditch their facebook accounts because they feel like they will be scrutinized no matter what they talk about. There is not a fine line between what you should share with the general public and what should not be shared. It's a big THICK, RED line. Whatever you do in your personal life, or general information about a fire, a traffic concern or other call that names no names, no specirfics unless it's having to do with public safety (such as a detour route or something) that should be fine. When a firefighter has just witnessed an atrocity and then has had to deal with it like this man did, it is very hard not to lash out and be angry because it affected this firefighter deeply. He is a 12 year veteran, rookie of the year and he has apologized with a sincere apology. Of course it doesn't make it right and he admits to a big error in judgement. If he is one of the good ones, why not give him a second chance? Allow him to take some training first or something, but then let him back in if he's worthy. He was a good firefighter and a good guy that obviously had a bout of bad judgement. Don't we all do that at times? Everyone is right here, the safest way to keep away from this facebook problem is to simply not post about your job. Good luck to the firefighter and if he wants his job back, I hope he gets it for the sake of the general public who always need good firefighters.
Justin Hamm Justin Hamm Sunday, September 09, 2012 5:40:35 PM That's why I'm glad I live in Indiana because hear they can'y use this facebook crap against you nymore. If his department didn't want this kind of thing to happen then they should have if they didn't already put in place rules as we have done to stop these things from happening. All this shows is poor leadershp from his chief offcers and a lack of control over them. As a captain at my house I can say the blame needs to start at the top first as it should.
David Goodwin David Goodwin Monday, September 10, 2012 12:29:32 PM Fire Departments have a legal right to curtail free speech of their members when such speech can degradate the department or it's members, or otherwise place the dept at risk for civil action. Incidents should NOT be discussed with the public or IN a public atmosphere. FB is most definitely a public atmosphere, even when the FB member has utilized all the privacy options. Actually, NO incident should be discussed outside a training environment.
David Goodwin David Goodwin Monday, September 10, 2012 12:45:08 PM Matt it IS a HIPPA violation when you UNECCESARILY disclose information that could be used to offend someone. Asking "Where is the mother" can be construed as potentially offensive in the sense that she may have been in the restroom, having a female problem, etc. Those situations are personal and private. Just for an example, When a firefighter comes out of the restroom and you ask him what was he doing, THAT, believe me, is a HIPPA violation. The best advice is for FF to mind their own business, do their duty, and mention it to a superior and let them deal with it. We are NOT judges, and don't serve as a public opinion mouth piece. "We are EVERYBODY'S friend".
Larry Via Larry Via Tuesday, September 11, 2012 8:01:17 AM you have to watch what you say or post on face book or any other web site. But there is a point where it might be the right thing. You can not fix a problem unless you direct it and sometimes directing it could piss some people off people whom have no ideal why a person does what they do. I know because I am one to do the pissing off. I just retired after 17 years and was chief for a couple of those.i I have stood behind some of my guys many times over face book post.
Tony Martin Tony Martin Friday, September 14, 2012 7:03:49 AM Where WAS the mother? A mother's #1 responsibility is watching her babies. I see stories all the time about 2 year olds drowning in pools, getting run over--ect. To hell with all this PC bullshit. MOTHERS need to act the part---or stop ,indiscriminate pro creating. Somebody STAND UP FOR THE CHILDREN---Like this Fire medic did.
Tony Martin Tony Martin Friday, September 14, 2012 7:07:36 AM And you swallowing that one? C'mon man. He was forced. You don't willfully resign from a profession you love----without pressure----or threat of dismissal.
Mark West Mark West Monday, September 17, 2012 1:59:54 PM The acronym for the law is HIPAA. And it's about patient privacy and protection. Although I'm not a lawyer, I don't think you could prosecute a true HIPAA violation for this unless Personal Identifying Information is provided in the post as Matthew posted. So, bad judgement..yes... HIPAA violation, doubt it.
Charles Cain Charles Cain Sunday, December 30, 2012 12:41:43 AM Political correctness needs to end. Id like to know how this post was leaked. Id love to see the post in its originality to see how descriptive it was. SO I wont make any judgement until I can actually see it. But on another subject this crap about people being offended so easily these days is a pathetic. people have no backbone anymore.

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