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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Proposed Bill Would Prohibit Fire & EMS Personnel From Taking Pictures Or Posting On Social Media

VETERANS AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, 9:15 a.m., Room B-31, Main Capitol
  • HB 1835 (Rep. Stephen Barrar, R-Chester/Delaware): Requires fire and EMS companies to establish a social media policy that would apply to all members, volunteers and employees as a condition to receive grant funds.
This proposed bill would prohibit volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel from posting pictures from emergency events on their personal or station websites, Facebook, blogs etc. This also prohibits posting the name of the fire chief on social media. 


Jim says:
"Having been a firefighter and EMS volunteer in my youth, emergency scenes were always hindered by traffic from people who wanted to see what was happening. Fire Departments sharing their images online has eliminated the need for people to go to the scene. Press people at an emergency scene are usually in the way and a safety concern. I've been very happy to post pictures from emergency scenes that show firefighters and EMS people doing their job. In the past, few people other than the personnel themselves knew what  these volunteers did besides holding Bingo to raise money. If this legislation passes, be prepared to see no more pictures from emergency scenes as we return to the dark ages."

Here is a link to the proposed bill in its entirety.

Below are 2 sections of the proposed law.
(5) The act of taking pictures or making video or voice
recordings when on duty and responding to an emergency is
prohibited unless authorized by the chief of a fire company
or the supervisor or chief of an EMS company for an official
purpose that directly relates to a training or investigative
purpose.
(6) The act of posting, uploading, downloading or
sharing images, recordings or videos taken when on duty and
responding to an emergency is prohibited.