Deputy Fire Chief Michael Small Under Scrutiny for Facebook Post

Falmouth Fire Rescue Chief Mark D. Sullivan said yesterday that he is considering his options after Deputy Chief Michael F. Small posted a photograph on Facebook of himself holding an open beer while seated behind the wheel of a car.

The photograph was brought to the attention of the Enterprise yesterday, which forwarded the photograph to Chief Sullivan. Chief Sullivan said he would discuss the photograph with Dep. Chief Small when he returns to duty tomorrow, but would not comment on personnel issues.

“We can’t condone any type of illegal activity,” Chief Sullivan said. “But I don’t know what happened until I speak to the person.”

There have not been many Facebook or other social media-related issues within the Falmouth Fire Rescue Department, he said. There may be a need to train department staff on how to use social networks appropriately, he said. “Maybe it’s about time we looked into it,” Chief Sullivan said.

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Dep. Chief Small posted the photograph on his personal page at about 2 PM on Sunday. All 411 of his Facebook friends could view the photograph. A total of 17 of his friends “liked” the photograph as of yesterday afternoon.

In the photograph, Dep. Chief Small is holding a Samuel Adams beer in his right hand and the steering wheel in his left hand. He is also wearing a motorcycle helmet with “No Bar Too Far” on the side.

The caption next to the photograph read: “The bad news…. When a 15 dollar sticker for the bike turns into an 800 rear wheel…. The good news?? You can’t drink roadies on a motorcycle anyway, but you can in Nana’s borrowed 1985 Camry!!!”

Having an open container of alcohol in a car, whether the vehicle is moving or not, is a civil infraction and is punishable with a $500 fine. Police can only enforce the law if they observe the violation in person, said Falmouth Police Lieutenant Brian L. Reid.

Attempts to contact Dep. Chief Small were unsuccessful. 

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