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    Default Facebook & other social network sites

    Hey guys,

    Please give your opinion on posting info about a run you went on in your Facebook. I've posted something general like:

    "Trauma call tonight." or "Car fire last night."

    Just curious of what you think of this. I never give detailed info.

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    Honestly, do your FB friends really give a damn about a play-by-play on what you're doing? I've never understood the thought process behind posting every trivial thing you do as a status update.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit7 View Post
    Hey guys,

    Please give your opinion on posting info about a run you went on in your Facebook. I've posted something general like:

    "Trauma call tonight." or "Car fire last night."

    Just curious of what you think of this. I never give detailed info.


    Ummm, What else do you post?

    Do you let everyome know your plans such as going out here and there?

    Seeing that special girl and all aspects of dating?

    I see no point in posting anything about see that person dead in the car whith the steering wheel pushed up in their ingchest, or brain matter hanging from the front post.

    Or even posting "We had a car fire at North 3rd and Main St."
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    Check with your superiors, is there a policy?

    Think before you hit enter, someone in your social network might be connected to your story and not appreciate thier privacy being violated in such an open forum. It's just food for thought.
    A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

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    Thanks for commenting guys. This is kind of what I thought. The reason I asked in the first place was because I wasn't sure how I felt about it.

    I'm going to limit posts about our dept. to times when it's something interesting in our training or maybe when we have a public education day or something similar.

    I always want to make sure I present the most professional image I can - I know that by joining this dept, I'm representing them to everyone I meet.

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    Gam,
    My department website is something that is very new. We have a facebook and twitter account and post updates to the site. Events that may be of importance. I see no reason why you couldn't post basic info on calls as they occur for the simple reason of the copious amounts of people who may view it. People who don't understand this concept or are against it certainly are intitled to their opinion, but in the end it comes down to you and your department and what your department as a whole decides is best. here's an example:

    When I presented the idea of a dept. website I expected much resistance, however I put all the facts together and they saw how it would benefit the dept. That being said, if you think viewers would be interested in that info, why not give it to him?

    The only thing we did was agree that there would be no links, info, photos or video's in regards to fatalities in any case. Fire's, MVAs etc. So if you list a basic post that says fire or MVA, whats the big deal? Just don't use too much detail or info. Believe me, there are many people who would follow you to see what the calls were. I've seen it work. You just have to be respectful and sensitive to the victums etc.

    All I can say is make sure you use your mellon !!
    Last edited by Rice09; 03-23-2011 at 04:07 PM.

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    I have better things to do then post my daily events on a public forum and honestly no not want the added pressure. I like to "fly below the radar". Perform the task at hand, clean up trucks, restock equipment, go home and do my best to put it to bed. We have enough to deal with without bringing the added pressure of your buddies hounding about the "details" of that wreck last night. Our department is adding rules that WILL NOT allow it.
    Last edited by nlfireguy; 03-23-2011 at 04:51 PM.

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    We have text on dispatch, and I have it repeated to our department FB page. Only the subject line appears (just the responding department(s)), and I'll usually add something after the fact. For EMS calls, anyone listening to their scanner has more information than I put on FB, which will amount to "Seizures," or "Subject fallen".

    On fire calls and the like I'll usually add more detail, but again, not as much as comes over the air in the first place, and certainly not the detail that will show up in the news. One MA structure fire comment I added included a "well done" to the home department for a great stop.

    The other thing on the FB page is our scheduled fund-raisers. That's kind of nice because FB sends out reminders. Easy advertising to those who follow our FB page.

    There are a few pictures there as well, and those pictures generally appear on our website as well.
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    Gambit, are you talking about your personal page or the department page? Unless its unusual or high profile, our department rarely has stuff about specific calls on it (although our true website does)...we use the FB page for information about the department, public safety announcements, fundraisers, and the like. We update our FB about once a week.

    I put all kinds of random thoughts on my personal page, but generally not stuff about calls...
    Last edited by BoxAlarm187; 03-23-2011 at 06:49 PM.
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    yeah, FB and twitter are simply just another tool to get news, updates and reminders out. In this day and age with our economy the way it is you have to be creative and find every way to advertise things like fund raising. It's certainly not for everybody, however it is a growing technology that will leave you behind.

    My department has policies, but the information we release on our site, twitter & FB are much less detailed than what scanners inform as was stated above. We wait a designated period of time after a house or barn fire before we post pictures. And, if there were any fatalities we don't post them at all. We certainly could, but feel out of respect for the families. We don't post MVA at all. There have been issues with insurance companies, so that's something to think about. I always keep in mind the last thing a person might want to see is their house or car soon after an incident.

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    We update our department facebook with pictures and info from wrecks and fires. The pictures are always taken either after everything is taken care of or by photographers. We haven't had any pictures that show patients faces but if we did, they would be blurred out as would any other identifying information such as license plates.
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    I have little problem about posting something general like that. Your friends that may be in the business may be interested and you can talk about it at another time. And other friends not involved may be curious as to what you do.

    There is the aspect that you open yourself up to litigation by having been at these things and lawyers finding out (FOIL) and if your testimony helps either side, they may use you. However, the few things I've heard FB being used against a member for was when they wrote openly disparaging remarks about their department and got fired. A video posted of a young woman who died in a car wreck, and even more recently, an EMT who posted pictures of a murdered woman. All tasteless and shows a complete lack of common sense and compassion. If you can police yourself and not be a complete idiot, it should be fine.

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    Our dept. has a fb page. Any big runs that get posted on our website get posted to the fb page. Both are handled by our press/media information officer. Members can comment on the fb page though after they post a story.

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    I was referring to a personal Facebook page. I'm going to refrain from posting call info from now on (and I've removed previous posts, even though they didn't contain much info).

    I'll post about other activities such as our upcoming fire training. But I have decided it's best for me not to post call info.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit7 View Post
    I was referring to a personal Facebook page. I'm going to refrain from posting call info from now on (and I've removed previous posts, even though they didn't contain much info).

    I'll post about other activities such as our upcoming fire training. But I have decided it's best for me not to post call info.

    Thanks.
    I occasionally see posts amongst my FF FB friends like "just got back from our third call" or "hey, we got a great stop on that one," as well as "don't forget we're doing such-and-such on Friday." Rather the kind of thing you'd say if you ran into each other at the store.

    I suspect most folks know better than to get too specific, in no small part as the result of the issued mentioned above.

    On FB you tend not to have the anonymity you have on forums such as this, so what you say can definitely come back to haunt you.

    Department activities generally only get formal recognition on the department's FB page or website.
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    My facebook "friends" are divided three ways, family, friends, and firefighter friends. Obviously, topics are usually different between each group.

    As far as litigation goes, come on seriously? If you post "Just back from a car fire," what part of that is subject to litigation? Whose privacy has been invaded?
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    I know! This reasoning comes from those who tend to overreact, so I take it all with a grain of salt.

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    As long as you are stating basic facts and are not being disrespectful or discriptive you have nothing to worry about. Our current Chief made it a basic understanding that we couldn't use pictures of MVAs. He's afraid a license plate will show and an INS co. will make a stink. Might seem a little over kill, but that's his wish. Find out what the department is comfortable with and post it. it's honest information. As far as someone getting fired for comments made on FB, well, I guess its case by case and don't talk smack about someone paying you to do a job. Be a bigger person and take care of your issues the right way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rice09 View Post
    Our current Chief made it a basic understanding that we couldn't use pictures of MVAs. He's afraid a license plate will show and an INS co. will make a stink.
    We had a similar, but slightly different issue with MVAs here, dating to before FB and others were even major players.

    A local news site incouraged "citizen journalists" to send in pictures of newsworthy events. Of course, what's more newsworthy than an MVA?

    The issue was that even with license plates blanked out, a news description of a "mother and 9 month old baby" involved in the accident, together with a picture of the vehicles, might serve as someone's notification that their loved one was involved.

    Amplifying the problem was the fact that we are near a major military installation with a lot of folks deployed to the sandbox. Since many of them have Internet access, it could be possible that a GI could see his wife's car all smashed up on the 'Net long before he gets notification through channels.

    Even our news media here were a party to that problem, which has mostly gone away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    We had a similar, but slightly different issue with MVAs here, dating to before FB and others were even major players.

    A local news site incouraged "citizen journalists" to send in pictures of newsworthy events. Of course, what's more newsworthy than an MVA?

    The issue was that even with license plates blanked out, a news description of a "mother and 9 month old baby" involved in the accident, together with a picture of the vehicles, might serve as someone's notification that their loved one was involved.

    Amplifying the problem was the fact that we are near a major military installation with a lot of folks deployed to the sandbox. Since many of them have Internet access, it could be possible that a GI could see his wife's car all smashed up on the 'Net long before he gets notification through channels.

    Even our news media here were a party to that problem, which has mostly gone away.
    Our dept. or at least up until our annual meeting/elections has a policy that we can't use cell phones w/ camera's at a scene. Some guys took it personal, but I get it I guess. Someone took a picture with their phone and word got out. But, they implemented the policy before something serious was passed around. But you're right, somone can get information at light speed.

    I personally don't have a FB or tweeter account, just the one I use for our dept. site. So, it's very contolled and edited just to be on the safe side. Something that was designed to offer entertainment and information could very easily turn into a hornets nest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    We have text on dispatch, and I have it repeated to our department FB page. Only the subject line appears (just the responding department(s)), and I'll usually add something after the fact. For EMS calls, anyone listening to their scanner has more information than I put on FB, which will amount to "Seizures," or "Subject fallen".

    On fire calls and the like I'll usually add more detail, but again, not as much as comes over the air in the first place, and certainly not the detail that will show up in the news. One MA structure fire comment I added included a "well done" to the home department for a great stop.

    The other thing on the FB page is our scheduled fund-raisers. That's kind of nice because FB sends out reminders. Easy advertising to those who follow our FB page.

    There are a few pictures there as well, and those pictures generally appear on our website as well.
    There's no big deal in posting info. in facebook as long as the details are very important for everybody's safety and you don't hurt any body in your posted information. Besides is one way to speak or inform the public for some safety and precautions..It really helps a lot..

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    The local career department has made posting pics/videos from fire scenes a severe disciplinary issue, to the point of being a firing offence. This arose after member posted a video of an MVA fatality on youtube - the video was taken down, but management *was not* very happy about the publicity it generated.

    Personally, I see no problem with "back from a car fire" on facebook. But publishing pictures gets tricky - it's ultimately a personal judgment call, but I personally would refrain from publishing pictures taken from a fire scene unless vetted and approved by the chief. Now, that said, I have no problems with pictures taken for personal use at a fire scene, unless it starts to border into the grotesque. It's one thing to take pictures of a fully-involved structure fire, quite another to take pictures of the dead occupants in an MVA.

    tl;dr - really, it's up to you. But be sensitive of what you post.

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    The only time I make posts on my FB is we catch a good working fire, and I only post "YAY WE FINALLY GOT A FIRE!!"

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    I think facebook and twitter can be used to a fire departments benefit is done right. Yes post trainings, fundraisers etc. Post calls is a great way to show the public what fire departments do and how often. Now yes don't post pics or give details. Just keep it simple like" house fire today mutal aid called in" Keep it to details that would not cause privacy problems.
    A post above mention about "staying under the radar" I think one of the problems fire departments have is we do just that. So the public doesn't have a real idea about what we do. This is especially true with volunteer departments. Use facebook to show what the fire department is doing and how often. Make the fire department a house hold word and conversation in a good way and it will take you a long way in fund raising and help convincing the town politians to keep you funded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    So the public doesn't have a real idea about what we do. This is especially true with volunteer departments.
    Too true. In a discussion about the recent "Recruit NY" recruitment campaign on a local forum, one person posted that his FD had done a survey of their "customers" and found that virtually none of them realized that they were even served by a volunteer department. While that is good from a professionalism point of view, it sucks when it comes to attracting new members.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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