Philadelphia Firefighters, Paramedics Told to Review Social Media Policy After Instagram Flap

Firefighters and paramedics in Philadelphia were told to give the department's social media policy another read after controversial posts by a medic about police and race hit the internet last week.

All Philadelphia Fire Department employees were sent an email on Monday instructing them to review the guidelines and copies were printed out and posted inside city firehouses.

The 13-part policy includes a ban on staff using personal electronics, like smartphones, to post to social networks while on duty, the posting of photos and video from fire scenes, sharing of patient information online and posting of images showing employees wearing official fire department gear without approval.

Sources within the department said the policy, which has been in place since 2012, is now being strictly enforced.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer confirmed to NBC10 Monday night the policy was sent out to staff as a reminder after two photos a paramedic posted to Instagram last week caused outrage.

The male paramedic, from Medic 23 in Southwest Philadelphia, posted an image of two black men pointing guns at the head of a white police officer accompanied by a message that said: "Our real enemy ... Need 2 stop pointing guns at each other and at the ones that's legally killing us and innocents."

The second post read, "There are numerous crooked and corrupted cops (mostly white) & mostly they harass, beat or kill innocents (mostly blacks)."

City officials, including Sawyer and the head of the firefighters union, denounced the posts and the medic later apologized. An investigation is ongoing over the incident.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

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