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From a news standpoint, the San Francisco Fire Department always seems to have the most interesting scandals and this latest one doesn’t disappoint. This one is about a cat named Edna who was ordered removed from Station 49 after an anonymous complaint. According to SFGate.com, Station 49 is an ambulance deployment facility. Some assigned to the station launched Edna’s Instagram account in an effort to win public support for keeping the cat. But they had to say goodbye to Edna on February 11 after the social media campaign to failed to save her.
Apparently there have been bad feelings inside Station 49 over the loss of Edna. Worried the focus of the outrage would be on the anonymous tipster, Deputy Chief of Operations Mark Gonzales issued an order to Station 49’s crew on Valentine’s Day that applies to both on and off-duty behavior surrounding Edna’s removal. Here’s the operative park of that memo:
The San Francisco Fire Department received a report alleging that Station 49 Personnel are openly speculating while on duty about the possible identity of the anonymous complainant that resulted in the removal of the cat from the workplace.
Effective immediately, I hereby order all Station 49 Personnel to cease and desist from any communication regarding the identity of the anonymous complainant while at work or using SFFD-issued devices or email accounts on or off-duty, or from engaging in any on or off-duty conduct that may violate any of the CCSF’s laws and policies regarding anonymous complaints. Conduct of this nature includes, but is not limited to, rumor-mongering and mistreatment of co-workers.
In response, Gonzales told SFGATE that the order was designed to protect employees.
“I know it’s an emotional thing; we understand that,” Gonzales said of Edna’s removal from the facility. “We’re not inhumane, but we have rules, and if we knew about the cat ahead of time, this maybe could have been taken care of better. We don’t want [employees] doing anything on- or off-duty that will get them in trouble.”