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Chicago Firefighters Receive Oral...Counseling

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jun 10, 2004 6:31PM firefighters are not web savvy. Perhaps you recall the brouhaha over the sexist comment someone posted in a chat room? Yeah, now the CFD is cracking down on internet porn. It might not be porn, actually, just “inappropriate” sites, which, if we know anything about the Internet (and we do because we’re a website), could mean anything. The Fire Department shut off Internet access to 59 firehouse computers after an internal investigation (perhaps a name of one of the inappropriate sites?) uncovered that a computer at O'Hare Rescue Two had been used over a nine-month period to access unsavory web materials. The article is a little vague, but it sounds like the 59 computers were scattered through firehouses across the city, not one insanely well-wired station.

Instead of suspensions and reprimands, newly appointed Fire Commissioner Cortez Trotter has opted for a milder, blanket form of discipline that targets the entire firehouse.
"Members who had access to the computer will be orally counseled about participating in and/or failing to report this conduct," [Fire Department spokesman Larry] Langford said. … Asked whether Trotter's discipline amounts to a slap on the wrist, Langford said, "Oral counselling is a form of discipline. That will be in their jacket [disciplinary file]. Would you want that in your jacket?"

Oh, Larry, you couldn’t have said “verbally” counseled? We think that the first day of spokesperson school should cover “don’t use ‘oral’ when you’re talking about porn,” but who knows. Chicagoist is going to be all immature and laugh at the use of the word “orally” because that is always, always funny. Yeah, maybe we wouldn’t want oral counseling on our jacket, but we can probably come up with somewhere else we’d want it. Snap! Feel free to conduct your own internal investigations, but definitely start with some oral counseling. Man, we could do this all day. Eighth grade was hilarous.
Firefighters are looking at porn when they’re at work, and that’s not cool, except…is it that big a deal? Don’t lots of people look at Internet porn even when they’re supposed to be working? Also, if you’re going to run into fires to save people, you should get a little leeway with what you do during downtime. But yeah, porn on government time is definitely a bad call, so from now on, please stick to Snood and King's Corner while you're waiting around to save lives.