The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) issued an order prohibiting firefighters from hanging pictures of President-elect Donald Trump in firehouses or on their trucks.
The decision has upset some firefighters, reports the New York Post. “Only FDNY wouldn’t want the democratically elected president of America hanging in a firehouse,” a firefighter who asked to remain anonymous told the New York Post. “The firehouse is supposed to be a symbol of America. That’s hard to believe when you can’t post a picture of the president.”
The memo, sent out by the department following the election of Trump on Nov. 8, instructed each fire station to “remain out of the political scene and out of the political field.”
According to an anonymous FDNY source, Engine 276 in Brooklyn had been driving around with a Trump mask on its grille, resulting in complaints that led to the memo.
“Posting of these materials is not in compliance with Regs,” stated the message, which asked the recipients to “Please make sure apparatus and quarters are clear of this material.”
Though the memo was somewhat ambiguous, the firefighters interpreted it to be a reference to the President-elect, according to sources.
It was also contradictory to previous policy, as one source noted. “They have pictures of . . . George Bush standing on the World Trade Center pile with a megaphone…. FDNY posts pictures all the time. When Barack Obama visits firehouses, FDNY officially posts photos of him shaking hands, people smiling — no problem there.”
FDNY spokesman Jim Long implied that the rule was indeed an exception to the rule. “The message, specifically to its time, was to remain out of the political scene and out of the political field,” he said.
Another of The Post’s sources said, “The department has always been apolitical…. The message was a reminder of the importance of following the protocol and regulations within a work environment.”
As noted on the official website, the FDNY “is the largest Fire Department in the United States and universally is recognized as the world's busiest and most highly skilled emergency response agency.”
The site goes on to note that the department “responds to more than a million emergencies every year,” while working to “prevent them by continually educating the public in fire, life safety and disaster preparedness, along with enforcing public safety codes.”