Double Standard for Social Media?

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.

Agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Why not leave a comment or subscribe to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader?

12 thoughts on “Double Standard for Social Media?”

  1. I certainly am not surprised that this happened. I think the problem with today’s generation is that they have no self dignity. Had I even thought about flirting with women while on post I certainly would not record it as I would not want to get caught. I guess I still have pride in what I do and take my job seriously because I would never record anything that I did while on the job. I am not saying I am perfect and that I have never done something that I shouldn’t have but I would never record it. I do take pictures of things at work but I try not to do it on a call and I almost always ensure that it will not get anyone in trouble. I believe that we should have some pride and show off who we work for but do it tastefully and don’t record stupid stuff like this.

  2. I certainly am not surprised that this happened. I think the problem with today’s generation is that they have no self dignity. Had I even thought about flirting with women while on post I certainly would not record it as I would not want to get caught. I guess I still have pride in what I do and take my job seriously because I would never record anything that I did while on the job. I am not saying I am perfect and that I have never done something that I shouldn’t have but I would never record it. I do take pictures of things at work but I try not to do it on a call and I almost always ensure that it will not get anyone in trouble. I believe that we should have some pride and show off who we work for but do it tastefully and don’t record stupid stuff like this.

  3. An excellent addition to the topic… and a great reminder that everyone is watching you almost all the time. For the love of pete, don’t add to the fire with your own video camera!

    I know that I would be very upset if the actions of a few individuals cost the entire department the ability to carry a camera—as you might have guessed, mine never leaves my side. I think we all just have to make sure we’re being smart about their use.

  4. An excellent addition to the topic… and a great reminder that everyone is watching you almost all the time. For the love of pete, don’t add to the fire with your own video camera!

    I know that I would be very upset if the actions of a few individuals cost the entire department the ability to carry a camera—as you might have guessed, mine never leaves my side. I think we all just have to make sure we’re being smart about their use.

  5. So, here’s my takeaway, though you may not be stoooopid enough to record your own unprofessionalism, I would bet there are others who have video of this also. Maybe it’s best to just be professional when one is on-duty (and off?)….

  6. So, here’s my takeaway, though you may not be stoooopid enough to record your own unprofessionalism, I would bet there are others who have video of this also. Maybe it’s best to just be professional when one is on-duty (and off?)….

  7. As an EMT and former reserve firefighter, I am disgusted by the actions of Mr. Diaz and his partner. As public servants we are constantly under tight scrutiny of our actions on and off the job. The public doesn’t pay us to go around and pick up on women. They pay us to be there when they need us and to act professionally under all circumstances. I’m sure SJFD is not happy about their firefighter’s actions even if it is prior to his employment with them. It is, however, an example of his lack of good judgement while on the job and I’m sure they will do some investigating of their own to see if he’s been having similar lacks of judgement while in their employment. I was also ticked that he sat there and denied ever knowing anything about the filming. The character that Mr. Diaz is reflecting is not what the public expects as far as honesty and assuming responsibility for ones own actions are concerned. Be a man Mr. Diaz, own up to your screw up.

  8. As an EMT and former reserve firefighter, I am disgusted by the actions of Mr. Diaz and his partner. As public servants we are constantly under tight scrutiny of our actions on and off the job. The public doesn’t pay us to go around and pick up on women. They pay us to be there when they need us and to act professionally under all circumstances. I’m sure SJFD is not happy about their firefighter’s actions even if it is prior to his employment with them. It is, however, an example of his lack of good judgement while on the job and I’m sure they will do some investigating of their own to see if he’s been having similar lacks of judgement while in their employment. I was also ticked that he sat there and denied ever knowing anything about the filming. The character that Mr. Diaz is reflecting is not what the public expects as far as honesty and assuming responsibility for ones own actions are concerned. Be a man Mr. Diaz, own up to your screw up.

  9. It has the potential to be a situation where a few ruin things for the many. What were they thinking? I will admit to people watching in the rig, but this is taking it to a completely unprofessional and inappropriate level. What happened to professionalism? We are constantly trying to get people to view us as professionals and take us seriously. We need to prove that the public can trust us and things like this set everyone back.

  10. It has the potential to be a situation where a few ruin things for the many. What were they thinking? I will admit to people watching in the rig, but this is taking it to a completely unprofessional and inappropriate level. What happened to professionalism? We are constantly trying to get people to view us as professionals and take us seriously. We need to prove that the public can trust us and things like this set everyone back.

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