A year ago, we told you about Metro Nashville Fire Department employees that were posting things on social media, in direct violation of the department’s social media policy, which we also published at that time. Over the past year, we’ve been monitoring over 100 publicly available feeds of Nashville Fire Department employees, that are freely available for anyone to view online, and we’ve found that not only do over 95% of them identify themselves as NFD employees (Firefighters, EMS, Engineers, & Chiefs/District Chiefs, in particular) – but they continue to post images from accident scenes, homes during an active fire, even firefighters taking photos of other firefighters taking photos, while a house burns in the background. A year after our last story about this, and a stern warning from both the local union, and the Nashville Fire Administration, are employees still not following the policy? Some of the photos even tag their Fire Chiefs in the photos, so the administration is aware of the public photos – is this endorsing their publication? How would you feel seeing your home or car on a fireman’s social media account, just watching it burn? Or seeing the jaws of life jammed in your door, on a EMS/Firefighter’s Instagram, publicly available for the world to view? Those are just a few of the situations we found over the past year.
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We’ve followed just over 100 MNFD employee’s social media accounts over the past 12 months, Here are just a small portion, representative of the larger sample – of which we’ll release during May. Images are all from accounts that identify the person and a MNFD employee, and the images appear to be in violation of the MNFD Social Media policy, which states, in part:
- 1-C. Employees are prohibited from publishing any photos or information related to a Departmental incident without prior consent from the Director-Chief or his designee.
- 2-A. Employees who identify themselves or who are identified (through photos or other means) as Nashville Fire Department employees while using social media must state in clear terms that their expressed views are theirs alone and do not reflect the views of the Nashville Fire Department.
- 2-B. Except where authorized, employees’ social media content may not include the intellectual property of the Nashville Fire Department (e.g., drawings, designs, software, ideas and innovation) nor include the Nashville Fire Department’s logo. Employees may not post any of the Nashville Fire Department’s Logos without prior approval of the Director-Chief.
- Full policy available at bottom of this post.
The department has had a full year to get employees on board and enforce this policy since our initial reporting of it, will they finally begin to enforce their own policies, or are fire fighters not held to the same standard as everyone else?
Here’s the first 4 we’ll highlight this week, from a wide range of salaries and job titles within the department:
- Hubert M Byers, Jr – MNFD Fire District Chief – $88,594.68/annually
- Daryl King – MNFD Fire Captain – $79,041.38/annually
- John Derrick Hamilton MNFD – Fire Fighter 2 – $61,662.45/annually
- Matthew Young – MNFD Fire Fighter 2 – $55,339.48/annually
Hubert M Byers, Jr – MNFD Fire District Chief – $88,594.68/annually
Byer’s Instagram Account clearly shows employment as a District Chief and the NFD, and uses the department logos/emblems, and posts many pics from the scenes of active fires while on duty, confirmed by timestamps and metadata. He even has a photo below where he is taking a photo of another fireman taking photos. So he not only is violating the policy himself, but is aware of his employees violating the social media policy, and not only does nothing, but endorses it by posting it online and noting it in the description
King, Daryl – NFD Fire Captain – $79,041.38/annually
John Derrick Hamilton – Fire Fighter 2 – $61,662.45/annually
Matthew Young – MNFD Fire Fighter 2 – $55,339.48/annually
Here is the full social media policy: