Thought I'd share a draft version of the new user code of conduct we're going to be rolling out soon. Feel free to post your comments or contact us directly with feedback (just message us) .

This is part of our ongoing effort to make the site a great destination for BOTH social AND professional networking for fire and rescue.

Dave User Code

First, the legal mumbo jumbo…

  1. is intended for use by current and former fire, rescue and EMS professionals. Non-emergency service personnel may be subject to review and removal.
  2. Using this site to spam/advertise or solicit members in any way will result in account termination. Commercial companies are welcome to have profiles on the site but please do NOT send unsolicited messages or friend requests to our members. Additionally, any forum posts, blogs or other content uploads that are intended to solicit business, promote offerings, etc. are not permitted.
  3. Posts, blogs and content on your profiles—including photos and video—that contain excessive profanity, nudity, or other types of offensive content, suspicious/spam/phishing links, attempts to get personal information from other users that is not welcome, etc. will be removed. The Webmaster reserves the right to remove such content and users without advance notice.
  4. This is an all-ages site. Keep that in mind when posting content.
  5. Members are encouraged to report issues that affect the reputation and professionalism of the site, as well as any inappropriate or offensive content, by using the Report an Issue link at the bottom of every page.
  6. Any material that is protected by copyright laws including news stories, photos or other materials will be removed if reported/found.

Next, some suggested guidelines for posting content…

  1. Create an accurate, complete profile. Fictional profiles don’t help us grow the community. Feel free to limit your contact information, but organizational affiliations, experience, etc. should be accurate. Also worth nothing, ising your real name helps other users find you more easily.
  2. No personal attacks. Dialog and debate are encouraged, but if you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t say it in writing. Treat others as you would want to be treated.
  3. Limit SHOUTING.
  4. Learn. There’s a ton of posts that discuss tactics, training drills, and loads of other information. Contact those posters to learn how you can learn more. Put it in writing for all to read/share. When you write it, we all learn.
  5. Remember that anyone can join the Nation, so members of your organization, even your chief, could be reading what you say.
  6. Share. You’ll feel more of the community if you post too. Share your thoughts, a great fire photo, video of a training drill. Also, invite your fire service colleagues and friends to become members as well. The bigger we get, the more features we can add to the site!
  7. Link, don’t copy. In general, copying a couple paragraphs of a copyrighted story is OK, but anything more than that constitutes infringement. So just link to it instead; it makes your posts shorter and easier to read!
  8. Don’t take offense. This is a community and it’s meant to generate discussion. If someone posts a comment disagreeing with something you’ve posted, look at it as an opportunity to broaden your perspective. Don’t take it personally. Questions that generate debate cause each of us to dig deep and think about the way we do things. Critical thinking is exactly what this community is about.
  9. Think about firefighter safety. Fire service pranks and mishaps can be amusing, but it’s irresponsible to post such content in such a way as to promote unsafe actions by other firefighters. The copycat syndrome is alive and well; let’s not give those with poor judgment even more material to choose from. Think before your post: Is it legal, is it safe and would my department want this posted on the front page?
  10. Respect the fallen. Reserve judgment until the true facts are out in order to respect those who have paid the ultimate price. Comments regarding LODDs and injuries should be respectful and constructive.

Thanks again for helping Firefighter Nation become the great community it has become! We have nearly 35,000 members and many, many more visiting each month.

Be a part of our growth by using the Invite Tool to encourage your co-workers and friends in the fire/rescue service to join the Nation.

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I like the code of conduct. I think having something like this in place will, as many have said, make a great site even better. I agree with ChiefReason about being careful with the whole "wiggle room" aspect. I read through damnthing's post and didn't know if more filtering would help what he's looking for. I personally don't have a problem with the current setup. I know that you can search for certain types of discussion in the forum by their topic, but I also know that many people will put things in under the wrong topic. I am not the most savvy guy when it comes to setting up anything like this, so I have no idea what to suggest for this type of filtering if you were to make the change. Thanks.
Looks good to me. As we are supposed to be one big family we should treat each other as such.....wait let me rephrase that.(sometimes we don't treat our family very niceley) Maybe we should just learn how to get along and be sensitive to things that might offend one another.
One good piece of advice I saw was the question "What if your chief is reading this?" Keep in mind this is for information sharing, and giving. Keep in mind, you wont always find the answers you are looking for, so don't get discouraged or take it out on others. Respect the brothers and sisters and our sometimes pestering nieces and nephews in the junior and explorer programs.
Since 'common sense' is anything but common, I see the need for guidelines. The guidelines as shown seem very fair to me.

The mention of fakers joining is interesting, there must be a few. The idea of somehow checking to see if people are what they say they are is interesting. How would this checking be done? I really can't see WebChief making an international phone call to see if I'm truly a volunteer with the Country Fire Authority of Victoria, Australia. I would suggest not wasting the time and money anyway as the organisation would not confirm, deny or even comment on me - privacy laws. How can we ever truly be certain that a person is who and what they say they are on the web? We must all be honest in our writing, we must hope that others are too.
I was thinking the same thing... I know like if you check my fire depts website, all the active members are listed in there... But that would be almost a fulltime job checking dept websites for member names...
Chief, Looks and sounds good to me.
Tony P. - I agree with you that it would be near impossible to verify current involvement in an emergency service let alone previous involvement. My personal feeling is you can kind of tell just by reading the persons posts if they are legit or a B.S'er. I may be nieve but from my readings on this site you can tell because you can sense the respect of the service they are in by the way they write and the terms they use and how they conduct themselves on here. That is just my opinion and I know there is exceptions to any observation.
I forgot to ask something in my earlier reply. Will this be something that someone will have to check a box and agree to, added to the terms of use for example? If so, will it be sent to everyone that is currently a member to agree to as well?
It's too bad that common sense isn't common at all. As with anything, you have to take the good with bad. Good job on the guidelines, Chief
i think rules are a great thing keep up the great work
I am glad to see some guidelins put forth, this will keep the site a safe, and clean. I agree with the
guidelins, specially when it comes to spam, advertise or solicit your business.
What about jr. firefighters and explorers we are not current firefighters
looks good to me..

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