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South Bend Firefighter Demoted for Taking Cell Phone Video

A South Bend Firefighter has been demoted for taking a video of a recent fire with his cell phone.

The report does not state whether or not the “impromptu video” took away from a task the firefighter was completing. When I teach/present on social media, I always remind the guys/gals that they are firefighters, not reporters. They should leave the reporting up to others. I am also a huge proponent of taking pictures of your crew when the job is done.

I wonder at what point this video was taken. Was it really worthy of demotion?

I would also love to see the Facebook Policy for South Bend.


“As far as the punishments, the union doesn’t dole those out, that is an administration thing. Our job is to make sure that it is fair and equitable from member to member,” Kottkamp.

Through documents obtained by ABC 57 News and through close sources with the fire department, that is not the case. Several firefighters have gone unpunished for violating the same Facebook policy, including an instance back in 2010, where a firefighter posted an internal email to his Facebook page, followed by snide remarks. Yet, no action was taking against him.
Back in September, South Bend’s Facebook policy was in the news:

The South Bend Fire Department was supposed to implement a new Facebook policy Today but the local firefighters’ union has stepped in voicing serious concerns over the new social networking policy.

The union says the new policy is violating the firefighters’ First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech. Read more

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Adam Miceli

    As an officer this guy should have known better and should be held to a higher standard that those who are not officers. If you cannot see the negative implications that can/do /will occur by posting video of incidents shot while on duty, you likely shouldn’t be a public employee. We hold a lot of public trust and things that are posted often end with comments that some would find offensive. As for a violation of the 1st Amendment, the Union better do some reading, not all speech is protected. Let’s not be our own worst enemies just cause Facebook is cool.