The disciplinary process is mostly over following the incident in Harford County, Maryland where members of the Bel Air VFC posted comments to a members Facebook page about the local Sonic not providing discounts to firefighters. The case has prompted scrutiny of policies on freebies and social media.
Four Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company firefighters, who were suspended and/or demoted for their improper Facebook posts, have lost appeals of the disciplinary actions, Chief Eddie Hopkins said Monday.
An appeal for a fifth firefighter, who is facing termination from the volunteer organization, is still pending before the board of directors, according to Hopkins.
“What’s disappointing is these are some of my top responders, my seasoned people, which makes this much more difficult to deal with,” he said. “They’re guys who may not be in the top 10 or 20 [responders], but they are consistent guys who I can rely on.”
According to reporter Zumer, three of the five firefighters were reduced in rank and fourth will be on probation for six months. The suspensions of three firefighters were for 30 days.
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Also on STATter911 …
- Maryland fire company investigates firefighters over Facebook posts. Bel Air VFC members upset over lack of discount by fast food place. – June 5, 2012
- UPDATE: Bel Air, MD chief suspends, demotes & recommends dismissal in Facebook burger shakedown. So far, a textbook example on how to handle bad news. Read department statement. – June 6, 2012
- Is it ethical for firefighters & police officers to accept freebies? The Bel Air FD Facebook incident has reporters checking policies regionwide. Some tips from Dave. – June 19, 2012
- Facebook comment takes down another one. Columbus, MS firefighter resigns after controversial post. – September 4, 2012
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