UPDATE: See Part II: Nashville Firefighters taking pics and selfies on scene? Also, the IAFF Local 140’s response. Also, Nashville Fire Department: VIDEO! Stop the Engine! Stripping for a Drag Queen while on Duty! NEW: Tim Lankford says he was “So Disturbed” by the Gay Marriage Ruling that he can “Barely Even Function” at his job as District Chief!
Of all the Nashville Metro Departments to have issues with their employees and social media, the Nashville Fire Department seems to be leading the pack. Perhaps it’s the typical ‘Type-A’ personalities typically associated with being a firefighter, but they just can’t seem to behave on social media. From Jake Caldwell, to Kenneth Kennedy, to Brennen (Martin) Tatum – and those are just a handful of the more public ones that residents probably know from memory. We’re sure if we did an in-depth dive into the social media accounts of the roster of firefighters, we’re probably find a LOT worse. Actually, we did that very thing – but first let’s take a look at Nashville Fire Employee Breenen Tatum’s recent interaction with a citizen.
“…why don’t you confront her and ask her why she is taking 1-ply from the Porta Jon instead of hiding behind your blinds and blasting her on Fb like a bitch?…”
Those are just some of the words typed by Nashville Firefighter Brennen (Martin) Tatum. He is listed in the civil service record as “Brennen Martin” however on his social media accounts and his most recent state licensure, he lists his name as “Brennen Tatum”, except in the URLs where are permanently set as his name of Brennen Martin. We’re not sure why he goes by two last names, but we’ll go with Tatum, since that’s his most recent.
The response was to a post in a group of over 20,000 East Nashville residents – and even though we, and you, may agree with his sentiment, when your profile is blasting the NFD all over it, it’s probably not the best example to be setting when the department has a sorted history of social media disasters already. It is unclear if Brennen was on-duty when the message was typed, but we have filed a request to find out. Brennen must have realized his error, as he removed his rant against the East Nashville resident within an hour of it being posted – indicating he knew he should not be acting like that in a public forum while representing the Nashville Fire Department on his public profile – but not before it was sent to us in several screenshots. Remember, the internet is forever. The moment you hit post, even if you delete it seconds later, is long enough for someone to see and save what you said.
We have reached out to the Nashville Fire Department to get a copy of their Social Media Policy/Guidelines, or more specifically a copy of the ‘Nashville Fire Department Operations Procedures and Guidelines’ and specifically section 1.48 “Smart/Cellular Phone; Camera and other Electronic Devise use policy” – which was used during the termination of Kenneth Kennedy, and also to find out if Brennen was on-duty during the time of the posting, which was Saturday night around 22:25 (05/21/16).
UPDATED 3PM: We have received a copy of the Nashville Fire Department’s Social Media Policy, posted below:
Brennan’s rage post got us wondering just how many other Nashville Firefighters & Medics (in employ of NFD) were posting similar things publicly, in spite of the departments storied history of employee’s social media antics. To be fair, we ONLY looked at posts that were set to ‘PUBLIC’ on facebook (there were many questionable posts on Instagram, but we’ll have a future post on that), and the employee had to have ‘Nashville Fire Department’ listed publicly as their current employer. In addition, to be absolutely sure we only included current employees, we further narrowed that search down to profiles that had publicly checked into a Nashville firehouse in the previous 60 days. What we found was a lot of check-ins at strip clubs, often several in the same week, all set to public, employees exercising bad judgement in their daily lives – not exactly a quality you look for in a medic/firefighter who has other people’s lives in their hands daily. Here is just a small sampling of what we found:
Let’s meet Tim Lankford – he’s been the Nashville Fire Department’s EMS District Chief since 1987! In all that time, he seems to be stuck in time – in a time when the earth was flat and evolution wasn’t proven fact. Oh Tim – your posts have kept us laughing. This is what the upper management is, folks:
Tim has publicly threatened any transgender person, who happens to be in the restroom with his family, with BODILY HARM:
Tim doesn’t believe in evolution:
Tim doesn’t believe people that have religions other than his own should be able to shop with him:
He also thinks that president Obama is Muslim:
Of course, Time Lankford is a Trump Supporter:
Tim is “firmly planted” in his beliefs – despite what science says:
Let’s meet Jerry Brown.
Jerry likes to visit the Strip Club – at 8AM.
Jerry also likes to visit the strip club – at 1PM.
Jerry would rather message back and forth via text and social media instead of paying attention to learn about new skills to save lives:
Jerry realizes that social media shouldn’t be the place to blast work issues, but strip club check-ins are perfectly fine:
Jerry has a large fire engine with huge hoses that put out water at speeds you can’t fathom, and would certainly knock a person down, and across a field. Yet Jerry would not drive his firetruck into a dangerous situation, like Cayce homes, for instance if there was a fire, or people needed help:
Oh damn, Jerry’s at the strip club, AGAIN:
Did Jerry plan this training day? Doubtful since he prefers the other strip club, but possible:
Bad Judgement 101: Justin Hays. Speaks for itself.
Bad Judgement 102: Tant Dowell – because no one has ever had to call 911 from pulling their kids on a piece of inflated plastic or rubber behind a moving vehicle on ice, right? Parent of the year nominee?
Justin Lee Shelby is afraid of a smelly ‘shew kitty’ patient? We won’t even try to decipher that one:
Let’s meet Jason Amburgey – Mr. February on the NFD Calendar – he got the beauty instead of the brains:
Jason has the ethics of, well, a thief:
Jason doesn’t understand the meaning of transgender, and that everyone needs to pee:
Jason also has issues with certain words and aspects of races:
Jason has issues with nurses – imagine his excitement for the resident ride-alongs, i bet he takes vacation that week?:
Jason doesn’t like working shifts in Hermitage, because of the number of continuous, back to back calls – he prefers a job at a house where he gets fewer calls, and doesn’t have to work as much:
We could have spent several hours reviewing inappropriate posts by NFD Employees. While everyone has the right to say what they want, they also have to follow guidelines once they’ve listed NFD as their employer on their profile. They could remove that portion, set it to private, set the post to private, or many other things to mitigate the negative image they give to the Nashville Fire Department – which has had its share of issues and certainly doesn’t need another social media scandal.