The Fire Department and Social Media: What’s Your Policy?

Issue 5 and Volume 165.

BY KENT COLLINS It is not news that firefighters like to share stories. The dinner table has long been a place for sharing the strange and interesting stories of rides in which you responded. The stories are sometimes both funny and cathartic, almost acting as a stress debriefing among friends. Occasionally in the past, there have been firefighters who threw a camera on the rig to catch an interesting sight. The pictures were few and far between mainly because of the nuisance of getting film developed, but that has since changed with the advent of digital cameras. Because almost every firefighter carries a mobile phone and almost every mobile phone has a camera, it has become easy to take pictures, and they don’t need to be developed. Smartphones, which record high-quality video, now have still cameras that rival expensive digital cameras. This relatively new technology and the unanticipated consequences that…

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