Jacksonville Investigating Offensive Computer Photo

Jacksonville Fire Rescue and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office are investigating a prank photo left on a fire department computer depicting a firefighter with a Middle Eastern sounding last name as a possible case of harassment.

The obviously doctored photo was set as the computer’s screensaver and depicts the firefighter with a fake beard juxtaposed with a skull adorned with a Santa cap. The photo includes the words “Jingle BOMBS Jingle BOMBS!!!”

The member’s name has not been released, but he reportedly was not offended by the photo. However, others who saw the photo objected and reported the incident.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer’s Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

  • Michael1959

    This is so sad. What has happened to the fire service? The prank is a take-off on a popular comedians act. This is all so bogus. It also seems that there are underlying issues within this department.

  • mr618

    Seriously? “Achmed the Dead Terrorist” and a crappy photoshop and folks are offended? Okay, generally, I think people should try to be a little more… sensitive… these days, but come on. This time, I think the PC crowd is over-reacting. What’s next, getting offended by Charlie Chaplin’s portrayal of firefighters in “The Fireman” (from 1916)? Or are we going to start whining about Popeye’s take from 1960? It’s not like they short-sheeted the guy’s bunk!

  • 19262007

    I agree with the whole PC thing getting out of hand, but the bottom line is that the computer belongs to the employer and if the employer doesn’t like what is put on it, it has to be removed. I wonder if the employer is now going to remove the Ft. Apache sign prominently displayed on the front of the firehouse…


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