As an avid Facebook user, I have more than 1,100 Facebook friends from around the country, mostly people in the fire and EMS community I met through my work, my travels and correspondence. Some are firefighters and paramedics I work with and some are from departments I worked for in the past. I...
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Facebook is not the only social networking site. MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, Craigslist, YouTube and a thousand other networking sites are also potential areas where firefighters and paramedics can find themselves in trouble. I'd like to suggest some rules of thumb to follow when using social media: Don't post inappropriate images. Don't complain about your superiors or co-workers in a public format. Don't use social networking while engaged in patient care or other work activities. Be careful about what you post and consider the impact of what you are posting.
See you on Facebook.
GARY LUDWIG, MS, EMT-P, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a deputy fire chief with the Memphis, TN, Fire Department. He has 33 years of fire-rescue experience. Ludwig is chair of the EMS Section for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), was appointed to the National EMS Advisory Council by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and is a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) EMS Standing Committee. Ludwig has a master's degree in business and management and is a licensed paramedic. He is a frequent speaker at fire and EMS conferences nationally and internationally and can be reached through his website at www.garyludwig.com.