Click above to see the story from KPRC-TV.
It sounds like the Pasadena (Texas) Fire Department brass made all of the right moves three years ago when they were made aware that nude photos were on the Internet that had been taken inside the firehouse. Posing next to a fire engine with just a fire coat barely covering her body, was the wife of a volunteer firefighter. Her husband had taken the pictures inside the station. The department parted ways with the volunteer and the chief thought the offending pictures had been removed from the Internet.
But the pictures caught the eye of quite a few on the Internet. All you have to do is put the phrase "Nude chick at Pasadena fire station" in Google and you will find many sites showing off the wares of the firefighter's wife with the Pasadena FD logo on the fire truck about chest high (something tells me most people won't notice the logo first).
Now, three years later, someone in South Africa sent them to Houston TV station KPRC. This brought reporter Amy Davis to Chief Lanny Armstrong's door. From what I can see the chief handled the interview exactly how it should be handled, directly and honestly. But it has to be frustrating for Chief Armstrong and others in the department knowing these pictures aren't going to disappear. Just as Anthony Weiner learned a few weeks ago, even something that was on the web for a hot minute before being deleted can come back to haunt you in a very big way.
As I have been saying for a while, there's a whole generation who have grown up in the digital age with the belief that everything that happens in life needs to be on the Internet. But that doesn't always mesh well with what happens in fire and EMS. It is important for fire chiefs and others to not only to set a digital policy, but to have discussions and training on ethics and social media.
Obviously in this case, even without the Internet, there were some pretty clear ethical lapses that you would hope a fire chief wouldn't have to go over with a new member or recruit. I am sure many fire chiefs reading this are adding this line to the personnel manual and/or department rules: No nude pictures of the wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, friends or strangers are to be taken on fire department property. And you would think that is one you wouldn't have to spell out. But as they say, you can't fix stupid.