Directive 2103

Subj:  CODE OF ETHICS

Reference:      (a) LDFC Minutes of the Meeting on August 23, 2012.

(b) USFA Press Release July 30, 2012. http://www.usfa.fema.gov/media/press/2012releases/073012.shtm

1.0) Purpose: The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to establish criteria that encourages fire service personnel to promote a culture of ethical integrity and high standards of professionalism in our field. The broad scope of this Code of Ethics is intended to mitigate and negate situations that may result in embarrassment and waning of public support for what has historically been a highly respected profession.

 2.0) Background:

             2.1) The Fire Service is a noble calling, one which is founded on mutual respect and trust between firefighters and the citizens they serve. To ensure the continuing integrity of the Fire Service, the highest standards of ethical conduct must be maintained at all times.

 2.2) Ethics comes from the Greek word ethos, meaning character. Character is not necessarily defined by how a person behaves when conditions are optimal and life is good. It is easy to take the high road when the path is paved and obstacles are few or non-existent. Character is also defined by decisions made under pressure, when no one is looking, when the road contains land mines, and the way is obscured. As members of the Fire Service, we share a responsibility to project an ethical character of professionalism, integrity, compassion, loyalty and honesty in all that we do, all of the time.

 2.3) We need to accept this ethics challenge and be truly willing to maintain a culture that is consistent with the expectations outlined in this document. By doing so, we can create a legacy that validates and sustains the distinguished Fire Service institution, and at the same time ensure that we leave the Fire Service in better condition than when we arrived.

 

3.0) National Firefighter Code of Ethics.

 

3.1) “I understand that I have the responsibility to conduct myself in a manner that reflects proper ethical behavior and integrity. In so doing, I will help foster a continuing positive public perception of the fire service.         Therefore, I pledge the following…

 

• Always conduct myself, on and off duty, in a manner that reflects positively on myself, my department and the fire service in general.

• Accept responsibility for my actions and for the consequences of my actions.

• Support the concept of fairness and the value of diverse thoughts and opinions.

• Avoid situations that would adversely affect the credibility or public perception of the fire service profession.

• Be truthful and honest at all times and report instances of cheating or other dishonest acts that

compromise the integrity of the fire service.

• Conduct my personal affairs in a manner that does not improperly influence the performance of my duties, or bring discredit to my organization.

• Be respectful and conscious of each member’s safety and welfare.

• Recognize that I serve in a position of public trust that requires stewardship in the honest and efficient use of publicly owned resources, including uniforms, facilities, vehicles and equipment and that these are protected from misuse and theft.

• Exercise professionalism, competence, respect and loyalty in the performance of my duties and use information, confidential or otherwise, gained by virtue of my position, only to benefit those I am entrusted to serve.

• Avoid financial investments, outside employment, outside business interests or activities that conflict with or are enhanced by my official position or have the potential to create the perception of impropriety.

• Never propose or accept personal rewards, special privileges, benefits, advancement, honors or gifts that may create a conflict of interest, or the appearance thereof.

• Never engage in activities involving alcohol or other substance use or abuse that can impair my mental state or the performance of my duties and compromise safety.

• Never discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, creed, age, marital status, national origin, ancestry, gender, sexual preference, medical condition or handicap.

• Never harass, intimidate or threaten fellow members of the service or the public and stop or report the actions of other firefighters who engage in such behaviors.

• Responsibly use social networking, electronic communications, or other media technology opportunities in a manner that does not discredit, dishonor or embarrass my organization, the fire service and the public. I also understand that failure to resolve or report inappropriate use of this media equates to condoning this behavior.”

 

3.2) Developed by the National Society of Executive Fire Officers, Congressional Fire Service Institute, July 2012.

 

4.0) Adoption.  On August 23, 2012, the Lyman-Dayton Fire Commission adopted and approved the National Firefighter Code of Ethics, as developed by the National Society of Executive Fire Officers and the Congressional Fire Service Institute and as acknowledged by the United States Fire Administration and the National Fire Academy, for use by the Goodwins Mills Fire-Rescue.

 

5.0) Applicability:  This Code of Ethics applies to all Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, Fire-Police, Fire Science Students, Junior Firefighters and all other employees of the Goodwins Mills Fire-Rescue.

 

6.0) This directive became effective on September 1, 2012, and replaces GMFD Regulation 511.

 

 R. S. Hooper

Fire Chief

9/1/2012