The New York Post published an article about FDNY EMT Eric Stone who was recorded operating the ambulance with no hands on the steering wheel by his partner FDNY EMT Sebastian Vazquez. This is the video from the NY Post:
The article notes that the video was posted to an Instagram account called @firstrespondersofnyc, which not terribly surprisingly has been deleted. The article also reports on a comment from another Instagram user, @belleroserescue, on the original post that said, “Bad idea posting this.”
I have to disagree with that comment. It wasn’t a bad idea… it was a horrifically terribly unintelligent idea that is second only to the idea of driving while getting your groove on. The posting also directly violates the FDNY Social Media Policy:
5.1 FDNY employees are responsible for what they write or post on social media. Activities and statements made on social media sites are done in an online domain where users have no reasonable expectation of privacy. Even if an FDNY member has created “private” or “limited access” accounts or has customized “privacy settings”, any statements, photographs, video clips or information that are sent over the internet may still be viewed and disseminated by third parties, even after the content has been edited or deleted by the user. Whether intended to be private or not, postings will be available on the web for a long time and may spread to large audiences by re-posting, sometimes without the knowledge or consent of the original poster. Before posting, consideration should be given to whether the post will disrupt operations or bring the Department or any of its members into disrepute if viewed by supervisors, co-workers, or members of the public.
While I think it is safe to say that dancing Eric Stone faces some sort of disciplinary action for failing to maintain contact with a vehicle in operation, it’s going to be interesting to see if they also lay onto him for the distribution of the video shot by Sebastian Vazquez, or will they lay the blame for distribution strictly on Vazquez. This is one of the challenges that all agencies have… because the source of the disrepute to the agency may not be the distributor or even the person recording the video.
Either way, stories like this tend to annoy me more than the usual story of EMS shenanigans simply because this is the stuff I’ve been warning people about for at least the last 8 years. Yes, you can still get fired for posting to Instagram too.