Online EMS & Fire CE Courses | 911 e-Learning Solutions LLC

When You Wear the Uniform

When you wear a uniform, regardless of the entity you work for, YOU represent that entity whether you are on duty or off duty. You are a walking advertisement for the agency. The public associates the person in uniform with the agency and all actions taken by the person in uniform are a reflection upon the agency. Good and bad, intentional, or not. Association with an agency extends beyond the uniform.  It is also reflected through informal agency insignias such as hats, t-shirts, vehicle stickers, and license lates. Once you become involved with an EMS agency, whether paid or volunteer, the public begins to associate you, your behaviors, and activities reflect the moral compass and ethical beliefs of the agency.  

Like it or not, this carries into your social media presence as well. Yes, it is your personal right to freedom of speech, however, it’s also the public’s right and freedom to form opinions based on your speech. The more political the organization you are with, the more those opinions are made public. Today’s social media sites are full of uninhibited, virtual vigilantes with unmediated connectivity to literally anyone. These keyboard warriors seemingly lie in waiting for anything they can use to create the next viral vitriol where they put all the media sites “on blast” hoping one will pick up the narrative. The more public the agency you work for and/or the more public you see yourself in the future (local politics, high profile positions etc.) the more important it is for you to be extremely cautious in what you post and even “like” on social media. 

So next time you want to go out and get rowdy or frequent any questionable establishments, consider twice before throwing on that XYZ EMS/Fire/Rescue/Police Department label or posting any ethically or culturally questionable content to social media. Some things are better left invisible, for everyone’s sake. 

L. Kelly Kirk, III, MSEd, NRP

President & CEO

911 e-Learning Solutions, LLC