The Tweet that got away

  • Dispatched to shortness of breath, prob. 2nd to massive explosion & helo crash. Pulling out the versed calling for helo #LPD#CaptainVersed

Yes that was me a few days ago. The Mediccast and EMS Garage co hosted a live event for the premier of the new NBC show Trauma. A large gathering of EMS providers listened live and joined a chat room. We all had a lot of fun, we destroyed the medical accuracy of the show and laughed at the over the top antics of the paramedics.

I was working an ambulance shift the next day. Many of the EMS providers on twitter were all having fun making light of the Trauma show. We were all exaggerating our normal routine runs and make them sound like we were on the Trauma show. That is where the tweet at the top comes into our story. I was actually dispatched to a nursing home for a difficulty breathing. That is the only ounce of truth in the entire tweet. The paramedics on the trauma show never went to the routine difficulty breathing (or dialysis) run. I thought it would be creative and funny to think of extreme circumstances that might cause a difficulty breathing call.

One of my non EMS followers thought this was a real run. After she replied to me I let her know it was a joke. Unfortunately she already forwarded the tweet via email to a local news paper reporter. The reporter called the 911 dispatch center, obviously she found no such incident.

The reporter then took this story a bit too far. She decided to take the moral high road and called my fire chief. She wanted to let him know that one of his fire fighters was tweeting about a fake incident. I was not working at the firehouse that day, my chief said as long as it did not attempt to represent the department and it wasn’t about the department it was non of his concern.

What do you think? Did the reporter go too far that day? Was I out of line tweeting a fake run? Where does this leave social media and bored EMS providers? Where is the line?

Full Disclosure: I never, EVER, claim to represent any agency I work for in any manner. I talked to the reporter on the phone and listened to her side of the argument. I still disagree with what she did.

About Joel

I am a paramedic, firefighter and I work for an organ procurement organization. All stories related to work have been altered to HIPPA standards and for the protection of those involved. The personal stories are different. Photography, flying, aviation, hiking, camping, travel, geocaching, amateur radio are a few of my hobbies.
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2 Responses to The Tweet that got away

  1. Greg Friese says:

    Thanks for sharing this cautionary tale about the spread of social media messages outside of our personal network. I am not sure if there is a right or wrong and it is probably to early to tell what is acceptable and what is not.

    • Rob says:

      Was just reading your blog post and I only fear that more and more of this stuff is going to happen. Whether people like it or not, social media is here and I seriously doubt it will go away anytime soon. To me this seems to be another story of a Reporter attempting to make news that really isn’t there. The simple fact that you are not attempting to represent either agency you work for should lead the common person to the conclusion that this a *Personal* twitter account and there for be treated no differently than any other of the millions of said twitter account across the Interwebs. What you say on here is between you and the people (such as I) who choose to follow you. I’ve tweeted about several things I have seen/overheard while at work, but in the same light, I do not represent the agency I work for while and on twitter and for the most part do not believe I have even mentioned it. (Although it probably wouldn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out) But alas, I fear I have embarked on a *Rant*…. So /End Rant

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