An excellent warning and recap of social media blunders is up at fellow blogger Raising Ladders site.  Please take the time to read it and come back.

With all those situations fresh in your mind I would like to offer the following situation:

An EMT crew posts videos on facebook of them flirting with women while on post, asking for phone numbers and for them to expose themselves.  Your company logo and location are clearly visible and they even delay a response to take pictures with some of the young ladies.  Later video shows half a dozen in the back of the ambulance.

How quickly would this crew be fired and a ban on social media placed?  I would guess faster than immediately. Just like the stories listed by Raising Ladders, administrations would seek to punish the sharing of inappropriate behavior and I would, in this situation, have to agree.

But what if the story shows up on the local news as a result of a nasty divorce proceeding?

You guessed it, no terminations.  Even though the person who filmed the video now works for another agency, he is not being reprimanded by his current agency.  Surely there is a difference since they have moved on in employers and it was 5 years ago, but images posted 6 years ago got one fellow in trouble.

In this report from Channel 7 ABC News you can get the details on what the videos show.

So I’ll ask again, if this video had surfaced on facebook, myspace or twitter would it be used to ban the use of social media?
If so, will we now ban all recording devices/cameras/phones from our responders? Not a bad idea in some respects, as the round up showed us, but the plan needs to address the need for responders to communicate with company and family when on the job.

It seems like a no-brainer to me. If you are going to post, don’t flirt, and for goodness sakes don’t video tape it. And when a call comes in, ANSWER IT.
This could spin an entirely different post about the false benefits of system status management, but I’ll save that for another day.

If you can take anything away from this post it is that whatever you do, the public is watching you. Had this video been shot by a bystander it would be just as damning and inappropriate.
It is not the manner in which the media is shared that is the problem, but that it is recorded and shared at all.

Does your Department or Company have a policy in place for recording non-patient images when on duty? Can you photograph the station, rigs or friends when on post?

Thanks again to Raising Ladders for the recap and chance to share this video in context with those stories.

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