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Photos / video / social media guidelines
Sharing digital content, like photos and video, plays an important role in helping CFA protect the community of Victoria.
Photos and video are used for a variety of purposes including training, post-incident analysis and investigation, recruitment, occupational health and safety, community safety awareness campaigns, and keeping our 59,000 volunteers and staff informed and engaged in the organisation.
The information and expertise you share on social media also plays an important part in educating the public about fire safety and the other diverse roles that CFA members play in the community.
Remember that comments/photos/video shared via social media platforms can be as public as if they were shared with the media or at a public forum.
When taking photos / video at CFA incidents or events the following guidelines MUST be adhered to:
- At an emergency incident you must get permission from the Incident Controller before taking any photos / video / audio on any recording device, including mobile devices.
- While on the fireground area, you must wear the appropriate PPC (Personal Protective Clothing).
- All personnel in photos / video should be wearing the appropriate PPC and following the Chief Officer’s SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures).
- As a rule, no more than one CFA member should engage in digital content gathering at any incident (at some larger incidents this number may be increased).
- You must respect the privacy and dignity of all those involved in an incident.
- No identifiable images of victims should be taken. Remember their family and friends may be present and may be distressed.
- If a victim or relative asks that images on an incident are not made public we must respect those wishes. The images may still be used for internal CFA purposes.
- Registration numbers on vehicles involved in MVAs (Motor Vehicle Accidents) should not be visible. Take images from an angle where the number plate is not visible or edit / blur the number. This also applies to any legible registration label on the windscreen.
- Any CFA member or member of the public who is identifiable must have given their consent to have their image published. (If you believe it is required, ask subjects to fill out an image release form - Click here to download image release forms for adults.)
- Parents / guardians must have given written consent before identifiable photos of minors are published. (Schools and community groups have often obtained this permission in advance – check with the teacher / leader responsible).Click here to download image release forms for children.
- Images that can be identified as coming from a specific private property should not be published without the consent of the owner/occupier.
- CFA members should not make or attempt to make any financial gain from any content they have gathered while undertaking their CFA duties.