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New social media orders for DC Fire & EMS. Concerns that it will impact union’s Twitter feed.

DC SM policy order

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Read new DC Fire & EMS Department social media policy

Matthew Stabley, WRC-TV/NBC4:

D.C. Fire and EMS is among the first city government agencies to restrict employees’ social media posts.

The new policy intends to limit publishing of inappropriate, confidential or privileged information online, according to DCFEMS. That includes discriminatory remarks, harassment, retaliation, sexual innuendo, threats of violence or similarly unlawful content. Such posts could result in disciplinary, including termination.

The policy prohibits sharing information obtained through employment with the department or posting any material that could be seen as malicious, obscene or bullying.

When referring to their employment, members of the department must specify that their views are their own and not those of the department or government.

Andrea Noble, The Washington Times:

The D.C. fire department unveiled a new highly restrictive social media policy Monday that bans department employees from taking photos or video of fire or accident scenes while on the job and from transmitting such images to the media or other organizations.

The policy could also put the kibosh on the firefighter union’s Twitter account, which provides details about the department’s responses to the scenes of violent crimes, fires and accidents.

Union President Edward Smith said he hopes the new policy doesn’t mean the end of the union’s Twitter account, which began posting details about the department’s responses after the agency’s Twitter account went dark. Both accounts now regularly post about department activity.

“I don’t know how it affects the union’s Twitter account, which I think has been appropriate,” Mr. Smith said, adding he plans to check with the union’s legal team and the American Civil Liberties Union over the legality of the policy. “I think that’s been a great tool. I think the public deserves to know.”

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Harvey Glick

    Agian, another attempt at quelling the critisism of this administrations lack of leadership and ability to manage. This is just another example of why ALL PAST administrations Ellerbe was apart of put him in a closet so as to limit his damage. Don't understand, look at his record of assignments as a Captain, BFC and DFC he was never assigned to any one place for long because where ever he was assigned he screwed that Company, Battalion or Division up so bad it took Months or Years to correct.

  • Anonymous

    Happpy New Year from the NKFEMS, aka North Korean Fire and EMS!  It ain't about HIPAA and natn'l security….

  • Terry Miller

    Social media policies should not have a "chilling" effect on collective action (union activities).   Therefore, implementation of the policy should not involve the union Twitter feed.

    The main problem I have with this policy is that it combines "advice" on how to avoid defamation claims (which are individual and unrelated to the agency activities) with directives regarding the unauthorized release of confidential information (personnel, health info, etc). 



  • Wayne C

    Just another way to hide all the problems being caused by the Chief and the jackass's under him just like the Federal government



    What stood out the most to me about this bulletin, wasn't so much what I cannot do, but who's telling me what I can and cannot do. The part about Retaliation to me was pretty interesting….I whole heartedly agree…there's no place for this in the workplace with one EXCEPTION….if you're the Fire Chief, its perfectly ok to do, because nobody will discipline him when he retaliates against a L36 member…

    DISCLAIMER: This disclaimer is my disclaimer and not the disclaimer of my employer, if indeed they do have a disclaimer on disclaimers. My particular commnet was not meant to threaten or bully my employer. My comment on was my opinion and not reflective of my employer or government, led by Mayor Vincent Gray, who's currently under investigation for a corrupt shadow campaign that got him elected. , however, my comment was reflective of factual statements published in The Washington Times, made by myself, on my computer, while off duty and drinking my own beer….HOOKMAN

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Anonymous

    Is Ed Smith a hillbilly.

  • oh really

    some of us just don't learn, hopefully (you,they,them) will step on their own crank and get it. Just like I don't have sympathy for those who get in trouble with the law, I have none for those who put  idiotic/moronic comments on social media, f'km all.

    @ Anonymous I don't kno if he's a hillbilly, but that organization seems to be ran like one.


  • IslaFire

    IAFF Legal will have a lot of fun with this one.


    @Anonymous..Is our Local President a hillbilly…how much of your life did you waste away by commenting this…I can't speak for him personally, but if you have any cares or concerns whether he's a hillbilly…Why don't you take off your granny panties..put on some big boy undies…then walk your coward self down to Bladensburg Road and ask him personally…Clearly you aren't a bright individual,  and may have low self esteem and a lower count of melatonin in your brain, therefore, maybe you can utilize your healthplan, after your concerns have been addressed, then you can get yourself some much needed mental health therapy you've been holding back on…don't take my word, but I heard that their are many  mental health caregivers in Eastern Pennsylvania…good luck

  • ghengis khan

    @ Hookman,

    Who are you? You sure have a lot to say on this site. You surely must be the shining example of a great firefighter, or you have been in a lot of trouble. If it was my guess I would say the latter.

    In my experience, those who come to work and do their job (which by the way includes more than just riding on the fire truck) tend to be less disgruntled.

    A Lot of the heat that happens to us, is self inflicted (most). A social media policy has been long overdue. I don’t members should be muzzled for how they may feel, but you have to be conscious of what you say.

    The blogs have been off the hook with no chaser, down right out of control. Members must learn their are consequences for what you wrought. I think people should stick talking smack at the bars like the days of old, and let social media get back to what it was intended for (not for what it has become).

    Who am I? Well I can tell you that I’m not a benefactor of our punitive process, not under no regime. Just curious as to why someone blogs so much attacking others. If I’m wrong about you than my spidey senses are off this month.

  • RJ in florida

    hitler, stallin, mouslini…now LRB