PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT
August 1, 2012
GENERAL MEMORANDUM # 12 -80
TO : All Officers and Members
REF/AUTHORITY : Special Investigations Officer/Fire Commissioner
SUBJECT : SOCIAL MEDIA AND NETWORKING GUIDELINES
The use of Social Media and electronic transmissions has become challenging for fire departments and their personnel throughout the country (e.g., Facebook, My Space, Twitter, YouTube, online blogs, email, texting etc.). The proper use of Social Media can be beneficial to the department, employees, and the public. However, improper use can potentially undermine the confidence of the public in the integrity of the Fire Department and its employees. There is no presumption of privacy when information is posted on Social Media websites and/or transmitted electronically. As per Directive #25, Discipline Policy, uniformed members of all ranks are expected to conduct themselves in a credible manner at all times, both on and off duty.
The Philadelphia Fire Department has recently developed a comprehensive Social Media Policy, which will be forthcoming in the near future. In the meantime, it is necessary to provide guidelines on the use of Social Media and electronic transmissions, and remind members of current department polices.
Effective immediately, all officers and members will adhere to the guidelines listed below on the use of Social Media and electronic transmissions both on and off duty.
Social Media Guidelines
• Employees are prohibited from using City of Philadelphia or Philadelphia Fire Department property to engage in personal use of social media.
• While in on-duty status, employees are prohibited from using privately-owned property to engage in personal use of social media. The only exception will be to engage in reasonable and necessary emailing or texting (e.g., text or email from a teacher/child care provider, or family member regarding an emergency).
• Employees shall not identify themselves as a member of the Philadelphia Fire Department on any Social Media and Networking site without prior approval of the Fire Commissioner. The only exception will be a professional networking site (e.g. LinkedIn). Postings will only pertain to professional networking and development.
• The use of cellular/mobile phones is prohibited while driving any department apparatus, responding to or operating on any incident scene, performing official duties, and during training (practical or classroom). The only exception will be for
official communication (e.g., to contact Fire Communications, chain of command or medical command).
• The use of recording devices—camera, video recorder, audio recorder, cell phone or any device with audio and video recorder applications—is prohibited while on-duty and/or at any incident scene without prior approval from the Fire Commissioner. The only exceptions are those persons/units (Visual Communications Unit, Prevention, and Fire Marshal’s Office etc.) authorized to do so. Under no circumstances will photo images, video, or audio of any incident scene, patients, bystanders, or first responders be posted on line.
• Employees are prohibited from posting on any Social Media site or electronically transmitting any information regarding the transport, treatment, or condition of any patient. This includes employees/members who were provided care and or transportation to a medical facility.
• Employees shall not post on any Social Media site or electronically transmit any electronic recordings (photo images, video, or audio) of Philadelphia Fire Department property or on-duty responses/activities without written approval from the Fire Commissioner.
• Employees are prohibited from posting on any Social Media site or electronically transmitting messages, images, comments, or cartoons displaying threatening or sexually-explicit material, epithets or slurs based on race, ethnic or national origin, gender, religious affiliation, disability, or sexual orientation, and harassing, offensive, discriminatory, or defamatory comments.
• Employees are prohibited from posting on any Social Media site or electronically transmitting messages, images, comments, or cartoons that foster or perpetuate discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.
• Employees shall not post any material on the internet or via electronic transmission that may adversely affect the efficiency or effective operation of the department.
• Employees shall not post on any Social Media site or electronically transmit any information that is inconsistent with the duties, ethics and Oath of Office of a firefighter or paramedic, such as racist or sexist comments, inaccurate information, personal attacks, or rumors.
• Employees shall not post any information or images involving off-duty activities that may bring a member’s or the department’s reputation into question.
• Employees shall not post any photo, image, or video of themselves wearing any part of the official Fire Department uniform or displaying any City equipment without approval from the Fire Commissioner. The only exception will be a professional networking site (e.g. LinkedIn).
• Employees shall not post on any Social Media site any depiction or illustration of the Official Seal of the City of Philadelphia, or the Philadelphia Fire Department name, badge, logo, patch, or vehicle, so as to give the appearance of an official site of the City of Philadelphia or the Philadelphia Fire Department.
• Employees are prohibited from posting on any Social Media site or electronically transmitting any information regarding a Fire Department incident, ongoing investigation, or pending litigation (both criminal and civil actions).
Division Chiefs will meet with their respective Battalion Chiefs to develop and implement a plan for Company Officers to conduct station exercises reviewing the policies listed below. Battalion Chiefs will coordinate with Company Officers to facilitate the review of policies, and ensure a roster sheet is prepared for each company indicating member has reviewed the listed policies. Platoon “D” Division Chiefs will consolidate all memos and forward to FPSC Jeremiah Laster, Special Investigations Officer by October 1, 2012. Unit Heads will follow the same procedure for their assigned members.
• City of Philadelphia Social Media Use Policy located on the “T” drive, Social Media Policy folder
• Directive #57, Fire Department Wide Area Network
• HIPPA Web Training PowerPoint presentation located on the “P” drive, “H” folder, HIPPA Central and Web Training folder.
• Directive # 25, Discipline Policy
Failure to comply with Social Media and Networking Guidelines may lead to disciplinary action being taken against a member/employee.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter and US senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) today were calling on Congress to fund programs that allow local fire departments to train and hire firefighters. Speaking at a news conference at 30th Street Station, Casey called for the reauthorization of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (“SAFER”) grant. “We want to make sure that we have as many firefighters on the job, able to fight fires, as possible,” he said today.
Stunning video of the lengths a politician will go to, in simply refusing to answer legitimate questions from a credible news reporter. Jeff Cole tries in vain to get an elected leader to answer some basic questions about the system he presides over. Arlene Ackerman has proved that she is incapable of running the Philadelphia School District and MUST be fired. The only question is how much taxpayer money she will LOOT from the treasury on her way out the door.
Mental note: This is what happens when teachers and unions refuse to compromise on issues such as medical benefits and pensions. The cuts have to come from somewhere, people!
Most of the roughly 1,500 who received layoff notices earlier this month will lose their jobs next week. However, nearly 350 teachers entangled in a legal dispute between the School District and teachers union will remain on the payroll until their status is sorted out through the arbitration process.
The arbitrator will determine which teachers still have to be laid off. 174 instructors at overhauled schools known as Promise Academies were targeted. But the school district declared them exempt and pink slipped 174 other non-Promise Academy teachers instead. (LINK)
1,500 teachers laid off – with the union’s blessing. Wow, they’re really there for you, aren’t they, teachers? And yet Uber-corrupt School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman (pictured, above) doesn’t even take a pay cut. How’s voting straight Democrat working out for ya?
It may not win him the election, but on Thursday, long-shot mayoral candidate T. Milton Street Sr. pulled off a not-so-small coup by winning the endorsement of the city’s firefighters’ union. The executive board of Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters – with about 2,100 active members – chose Street as their candidate over Mayor Nutter after meeting with Street Thursday morning.
The union has feuded with Nutter since he deactivated seven companies as the recession hit in January 2009. Last year, Nutter cut paramedics out of the union after an overtime dispute, and appealed a contract arbitration award in November that gave firefighters 3 percent raises in each year for fiscal 2011-13 and exempted them from furloughs. Nutter argued that the fire contract was too expensive, but at the time, Local 22 president Bill Gault called it “a slap in the face.” LINK
You can’t make this stuff up. Our local, IAFF Local 22 has decided, without consulting the membership, to endorse Milton Street for mayor of Philadelphia. For those of you outside the Philly region who may not know him, Milton is the brother of former Mayor John “The brothers and sisters are in charge” Street. He’s a deadbeat felon with NO SHOT of being elected dogcatcher, let alone mayor.
This endorsement, safe to say, has turned our local into a laughing stock and has virtually assured us more and even greater abuse from city hall. It isn’t a stretch to say this endorsement may even have personal, career implications for me. Further cuts to the fire department will only destroy my chances for advancement. A spiteful mayor Nutter has already shown he cares little about public safety. We have little to gain at this point by provoking him further.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The City of Philadelphia is making a donation of a half-million dollars to support efforts to build a memorial statue to 19th Century civil rights activist Octavius V. Catto.
With applause and shouts of “O.V.!” from members of the OV Catto Elks Lodge 20, Mayor Michael Nutter announced the City of Philadelphia’s commitment of $500,000 over two years for a memorial statue of Catto, who pressed for the desegregation of Philadelphia’s mass transit system in the 1860s and was murdered in 1871 while trying to vote. LINK
What’s a half a MILLION DOLLARS between friends? Apparently, not a very big deal. The city of Philadelphia is usually in dire financial straits, mostly around contract time. Hey, that’s right now. As of today Philly’s firefighters have been working with an expired contract for almost a year and a half. As usual the city pleads poverty. As usual they are liars. They can’t find the money to fund emergency services properly yet they can pony up a half a million dollars for a STATUE! A half a million dollars buys a brand new fire engine in way of comparison. That fire engine will save lives and property well in excess of the cost over its (too long) twenty-plus years of service. But then again we need statues. These people are jokers…
For the record I would be just as incensed if it were a statue of the Pope, Ronald Reagan or Rush Limbaugh.
Mayor Squidward uses cops as props for his anti-public safety agenda. Here he specifically outlines his plan to raise taxes and “REFORM” pensions yet again for cops and firefighters. This is indicative of big-city politicians who spend money on pet, liberal social projects that are designed to do nothing but get them re-elected, while cutting essential services, the services needed to keep a big city running safely and smoothly.
Nutter did in fact close seven fire companies permanently, and browns out three more every shift city-wide. That’s TEN fire companies put out of service. Yet magically we are still supposed to have enough manpower to send guys to Camden since they laid off so many of their firefighters. Like most Democrat-controlled big cities, Camden is bankrupt too. In true liberal style they want us to bail them out. That’s insane.
Tell me again about Chris Christie…
Calling the city’s threat to fine a Manayunk church for ringing its bell at 7 a.m. “silly,” Councilman Jim Kenney said he would draft legislation to exempt churches and schools from Philadelphia’s noise ordinance.
St. John the Baptist received notice from the Health Department last week warning that some neighbors had complained about its morning bell ringing. The letter said the 179-year-old parish could be fined up to $700 a day if inspectors determine the chimes can be heard at the nearest residential property.
“The whole situation is just silly,” Kenney said. “There should be some discretion when it comes to situations like this. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s heavy-handed, and the city doesn’t need that reputation.” LINK
How long before we are in a full-blown religious war in this country? At this rate it may not be long. The city Health Department is threatening to fine a church for ringing its bell because of some complaints from a SINGLE person. This after the bell has rung for over a hundred years.
Ok I want to hit some bullet points here:
The city has started temporarily closing fire stations in order to balance its budget. The rolling “brownouts” began with the closing of three fire companies as of 8:05 a.m. Monday.
Union members hosted a news conference as Engine 57 shut its doors for the day in West Philadelphia. Union officials said the closures are creating unsafe conditions in affected neighborhoods.
The city says these rotating brownouts will not have an impact on public safety and firefighters from those companies will be redeployed to other companies or will undergo training.
Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said in the past, five companies a day were closed to training. But now only two companies per day will go to training.
“This is a game. This is moving pieces around in order to affect protection,” said Firefighters Union President Bill Gault. “Sooner or later its going to bite them in the butt.” LINK
One qualification that keeps most people from being successful politicians is the ability to lie with a straight face. It is a fundamental trait that only the best politicians have command of. You can see it in the big timers like Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, two of the all-time greats. But in this clip you can also see it in our villainous Mayor Mike Nutter. He looks right at the female reporter and lies straight in her face. She, being an ignorant reporter, stands there and takes it without so much as a serious follow-up. Honey, the city hasn’t got any smaller. So if each engine company covers a specific geographic area and you take TEN COMPANIES off the street, how in God’s name can response times NOT BE AFFECTED??? Idiot.
I had to wait a while before posting about this incident because I am a little too close to it. By now many of you have seen or heard about the DUK boat accident that happened on the Delaware River yesterday afternoon. This incident happened in the area of Philadelphia where I worked for many years until my recent transfer. I know just about all of the firefighters who were involved in the rescue efforts and in fact my old company from Chinatown was among the first on scene. As always, they did a tremendous job under what can only be described as extremely difficult circumstances. It took a combined effort of many different rescue personnel to avert an even bigger loss of life this time around.