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  1. #1
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    Default Posting Pictures Online from calls

    Hi, My name is mike, i am a cherokee county explorer, i also 3rd ride with atlanta at least 1 shift a week, i am not yet 18 so i cant get hired, we just had a big problem with fireman posting pictures of fire and wrecks on facebook. I understand the hippa law, you cant have any patient info or anything that could identify a patient online. I was asked to remove my pictures from fires we have had. Does anyone know the rule on posting fires and stuff. My youtube name is goyankees1414, there are videos i have made while on shift. Are they ok?, or do i have to worry about getting in trouble. Please help guys. Thanks.

    Check out my atlanta fire battalion 5 vid on youtube and comment with it is ok or not.


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine_02 View Post
    Does anyone know the rule on posting fires and stuff.
    If you took them as a civilian standing outside of the fireline tape with all the other civilians, you can post anything you want.

    If you took them as a member of FD standing inside the fireline tape with the responders, you can only post what the FD specifically allows you to post.

    If that latter is the case and you were asked by someone in authority in the FD to take them down, do yourself a favor and take them down immediately.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  3. #3
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    Good advice

    Also you could get in the middle of open records request and they could possibly look into anything that is on that computer or camera

    Along with possibly being subpoenaed to court

  4. #4
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    I understand that they are your pictures that you took and posted on your personal internet social networking account. However, you took them in the course of your duty with the fire department. Therefore, the fire department has every right to say that isn't allowed.

    I always told our explorers that taking pictures and videos was great and encouraged it. I just asked that if they wanted to post it on facebook and other social networking sites to please show them to me first. As long as the picture isn't inappropriate or breaching confidentiality, I would allow it. Your department may vary, it is their decision.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  5. #5
    Worldwide Menace DFurtman's Avatar
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    Shouldn't this be in the explorer forum?

    -Damien

  6. #6
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFurtman View Post
    Shouldn't this be in the explorer forum?

    -Damien
    No. This is applicable to anyone regardless of age or status. It happens to be an explorer bringing it up, but it is a fire service wide issue.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine_02 View Post
    Hi, My name is mike, i am a cherokee county explorer, i also 3rd ride with atlanta at least 1 shift a week, i am not yet 18 so i cant get hired, we just had a big problem with fireman posting pictures of fire and wrecks on facebook. I understand the hippa law, you cant have any patient info or anything that could identify a patient online. I was asked to remove my pictures from fires we have had. Does anyone know the rule on posting fires and stuff. My youtube name is goyankees1414, there are videos i have made while on shift. Are they ok?, or do i have to worry about getting in trouble. Please help guys. Thanks.

    Check out my atlanta fire battalion 5 vid on youtube and comment with it is ok or not.
    I don't mean to pick nits... But how much do you really understand HIPAA if you don't even know what to call it?

    I know, its not a typo, a lot of people do it like that until they find out they are wrong. It also is really interesting to see who all actually does fall under HIPAA. As a Fire Department that provides BLS care as first responders, and does not BILL electronically (We don't bill for medicals) we are NOT covered under HIPAA. We abide by their guidelines, but that is by choice.

    Check it out here,

    http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa...ies/index.html

    Other than that - it all depends on what your department allows. I do it much like NMFIRE, you can take pictures and videos, but show them to me before posting.

    Common sense rules.

  8. #8
    Forum Member RS1606's Avatar
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    im with the city of knoxville, their new rule, is that no phones, or cameras can be out, or on when on scene of a call
    Firefighters need not fear fire, but give it all their respect.

  9. #9
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    I concur with LVFD301. If your company is not a billable company (meaning you do not charge civilians for your response whether it is EMS or First Response) then your company does not fall under the HIPAA rules.

    However...

    If your call does not involve an injured person, such as a structure fire with no injury or patient refusals, a brush fire, overturned boat with no patients, tree on wires, trainings, etc... Then it does not fall under the HIPAA law either. So those pictures BY LAW are safe to post.

    If your fire department does not want to deal with possibility of a subpoena (local, state, government demand of your pictures) then they may just say you are not allowed to post any pictures of calls at all.

    We have a website http://www.prestoncityfire.com (that I just made and I am sorry if I am not allowed to post firehouse links) but just as example I have all trainings and a couple of calls on there that were pre-HIPAA and really pre-sue happy people. All other calls can ONLY be viewed by logged in PCFD Volunteers, Paid members, and POQFD (our other department in Preston)

    Just research what is HIPAA and what is not, which I and LVFD301 basically answered and anything else can be posted. I would suggest doing it with fire department officer approval.

  10. #10
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    Guess you have not seen Nancy grace tonight 10/19

    Also remember you might end up in court because the pictures you took might be evidence and you are the one that has to testify about them

  11. #11
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    You know oddly enough lawyers offices were more interested in getting my pictures then anyone else. Didn't have hipaa at the time my chief who was in law enforcement gave me the green light to hand them over to a lasyers group. I handed over 8 pictures and had a 200 dollar check sent home. Since then it went up to $100-$200 a picture. It went on for a bit and didn't like the direction it was going and all the phone calls them trying to track me down. Eventually I shut everything down. I was on my way to south Carolina for a county paramedic job and it was nice to put all that behind me. I am a lot more careful now.

    Sorry for the rant but just wanted to give you a true story account as to what I had to go through once. So be mindful with the pictures you take. The pictures I take now some can view them bit not all. And all of them help us with training.

  12. #12
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCFDfp68 View Post
    I handed over 8 pictures and had a 200 dollar check sent home. Since then it went up to $100-$200 a picture.
    I'm surprised nobody ever went after you for "double-dipping." If you took those pictures while working for the FD, a very good case could be made for them owning the rights to them -- not you.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    I hate to deviate from the original topic here but double dipping would be defined if I was getting paid to take the pictures and making money on the side selling them. Or another example being a paid member at a house I'm a volly at as well and receiving volly incentive points (which translates into money every quarter) while doing calls on the clock. I took pictures as a volly and on occasion a lawyers office would want copies of the picture that I pay for, the film and developement.

    Also it was with the chiefs permission and I offered the house money but the chief said no that I could keep it. Of course I didn't argue it paid for film, development, and eventually a digital camera.

    Now as to the original post here, use caution. People take offense easy. I am bringing this up be side yesterday we had a 2 car MVC the person who rear ended the other person was a young mother who had her 3 year old in the car. 4 patients no injuries but I opted to leave my camera in my truck. You need to read the people involved. Even if you have your departments blessing it still wouldn't hurt to get the parties involved permission or at least tell them you are taking pictures for training help.

  14. #14
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCFDfp68 View Post
    I took pictures as a volly and on occasion a lawyers office would want copies of the picture that I pay for, the film and developement.
    The analogy still holds. While you're on "company time" -- paid or otherwise -- there's a very good case to be made that the company -- not you -- owns the rights to the pictures you took. You might have an equally good case for being made good on film and developing but not on profitting due to your FD activities.

    Also it was with the chiefs permission and I offered the house money but the chief said no that I could keep it.
    Okay. So, by asking, you acknowledge that the pictures weren't yours to sell.

    Not trying to bust your stones but just throwing up a warning to anyone who might get the idea that you can just profit at will without following the proper procedures.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    No sir, by asking I was getting permission from my chief to "hand" the pictures over. My pictures have been sent to firehouse magazine, galls, a couple of news papers, and lawyers. All of them are not for financial gain, as a fact most were handed over for no charge.... thus my "on occasion" comment.

    I admit that while on a volly call or even on the clock the pictures you take are representative of the fire department you belong to. The same rule applies to if you are on your way to a call and get into a wreck because you are driving like a tool and you happen to hurt someone it isn't only your butt that is in a sling but potentially the departments as well.

    I do not know how they do things in your house but I pay for the pictures they come home with me... I own them! I just happen to have a decent head on my shoulders and ask permission before they leave my possession. Even when I post them on our website for members only (the actual call, calls) I still get permission.

    I am not just responding to the person who is questioning me, while I appreciate his questions and or accusations it just goes to show that it is a sensitive matter and needs to be well thought through on all sides. You are representative of the company you run with and any actions you take, paid or as a volly or as a junior/explorer member, you need to remember your actions do not only put your rear in the sling but your house as well.

    Protip: it is okay that you posted on your FB account the pictures you take do not take it to hard that they asked you to remove them. It all comes down to experience and now you can share what happened with you to other people who need advise... so... next time just ask an officer

  16. #16
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    In our sue happy world I hate any of our guys taking pictures. It can just cause a world of **** if someone says the FD did something wrong, unless that is the sole purpose of that member.

    Regardless, who ever said that structure fires and the like were ok as long as there were no victims or injuries I would slightly agree, but I go back to my opening statement.

    Definitely DO NOT post any vehicle incident or anything else were someone has died. It may not cause any legal problems but that is just wrong.

  17. #17
    Forum Member NFD-Firefighter's Avatar
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    I would just stay away from posting anything. Why even take the chance of getting in trouble?

  18. #18
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    Bottomline...

    Don't ever do anything that you don't want posted on the front page of tomorrow's newspaper.

    It was very astute of you to ask about this here for some help. Now go and do something that you can be truly proud of whether its taking the pics down or leaving them up...Make the correct decision based on who you are and how you want to represent your fire family.

    Paul

  19. #19
    Forum Member jake_WVFD17's Avatar
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    First off, dont bring your phone to a call. This way you dont even have to worry about getting blamed for stuff like that.
    "A Brother Above All Else" ~Glen Schade

    "Those who volunteer to fight fires are people who truly care." ~C. Pulsifer

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  20. #20
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    I just asked that if they wanted to post it on facebook and other social networking sites to please show them to me first. I always told our explorers that taking pictures and videos was great and encouraged it.

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