For some reason, someone came up with the hashtag and it has stuck.  Please don’t ask me why… and as a middle to late generation Fire Service guy, I really don’t like it.  Anyway, nobody wants to read about how this grouchy young old guy feels about hashtags… so let’s talk about how they can be a bad thing…  because if we’re going to write something about them you can guess that there is a negative side of this fad…

Everyone is doing it, so what’s the big deal?  The big deal is that some of you are using hashtags to self promote, self inflate, and down right create a false image of who you are and what you do.  Let me give you an example… I saw a picture of an EMT in uniform on an Instagram photo (first no-no) and the hashtags were so over the top (#shecodedonthetable, #ihopeshemakesit, #flightmedic, etc.) for an EMT-Basic to be posting… that will actually hurt their image.  It hurts their image to their boss, prospective bosses, and even their peers are hammering them.  Because everyone in the know knows that it’s nonsense.  100% nonsense!

Just remember… people in our business don’t care how many people you say you’ve saved.  People care that you can do the job and do it well.  People care that you’ll be a part of the traditions and professionalism of the industry.  People want to know who you are, the real, un-hastagged you.  Be who you are.  It’s enough.  Continue to work towards your goals.  Stay focused.  Work hard.  That’s enough.  That’s what you need.  Quit hashtagging… #thatstuffisbananas!

Dave Hardenburger

Dave is a Fire Captain and Paramedic for a municipal Fire Department in San Diego County. He co-founded FirefighterMedic with Josh and currently serves as a Mentor.