Acceptable Use Policy for the Fire Department

Acceptable Use Policy for the Fire Department

Designing, Developing, Implementing Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) Computers integral part fabric daily life fire service. Once a luxury, computer a necessity a multitude functions: computer aided dispatch, fire incident reporting, creating work schedules, outlining

Purpose of the Acceptable Use Policy

The fire department owns and operates the computing systems that are provided for use by the employees, fire men and women. The computing systems support the workers in managing and operating technology related services. These systems are to be used for the purposes of emergency response, communications, reporting, and public services only. This Acceptable Use Policy has been formulated to ensure that the computing systems, network, and facilities are used appropriately, efficiently, ethically, effectively, and in a lawful manner by all employees and community members. The AUP establishes prohibitions and rules that will define the acceptable use of the computing systems and the network Rusk, 2001.

Any unacceptable use is prohibited, and it will be a ground for denial to any employee to use the computing systems. The fire department reserves the right to modify the AUP at any time, and in the event of any changes, all employees will be notified by email where a copy of the revised AUP will be provided. Any attempted violation of this AUP by a third party who is acting on behalf of an authorized person, will be considered to be a violation by the employee, and they shall be directly liable for this violation.

Audience addressed by this AUP

This AUP applies to all employees, fire department community, consultants, contractors, temporary employees, interns, trainees, and any other worker within the fire department. All personnel that are affiliated with the third parties are also addressed by this AUP. The AUP applies to all computer equipment, networks, or peripherals that are owned by the fire department or have been leased by the fire department. The policy also applies to any individual who has access or may require to access the computing systems of the fire department.

Privacy expectations

All users of computing systems at the fire department will expect that their emails are private, files are well protected, and their rights are protected at all times Flowers & Rakes, 2000.

The fire department has ensured that all emails sent from the network are encrypted, and the privacy of the individual is maintained all the time. The users of the computing systems should however, know that emails can be intercepted outside the fire department’s network, and this would not be a fault of the fire department. The fire department respects the contents of individual files and will monitors the fire department’s network in accordance with the law. Some file content can become known when the IT administrators are dealing with certain operational problems. The fire department keeps a usage log, which is used when diagnosing such problems. The fire department is liable to comply with the law when court orders are presented requesting copies of emails, system files, or any other information.

The IT administrators do not monitor electronic communication, but they might become aware of some activity that is posing risks to the fire department’s network. In such a scenario, they will take corrective measures, which might include disabling or blocking access to the systems posing this risk. In the process of diagnosing problems, the IT administrators may obtain information that indicates unauthorized distribution of confidential materials. This would be considered illegal, and the affected users or employees would be liable for this violation. The fire department places great value to the freedom of expression. All employees have the right to exercise their freedom of expression, but this should be done in a mature, respectful, and responsible manner Miller, 2004.

The fire department will not punish any employee or user provided the expression does not violate the law.

Responsibilities of the municipal leadership

The municipal leadership is responsible for ensuring that the computing systems and networks are protected from physical access by unauthorized users. The municipal will ensure that the computing systems are well protected from burglary, and thefts. The fire department offices will be secured with alarms and access codes for all employees. The municipal is also responsible for ensuring that the computing systems are available for use all the time and if a fault occurs a temporary system is provided. This will ensure that employees are able to continue working as the problem is being sorted out. All computing systems will have an antivirus to ensure that no system is attacked. Employees will also be trained on proper usage of computing systems to ensure that they do not infect the systems with malicious programs.

The network has a firewall to protect any unauthorized access. The firewall also monitors all communications to ensure that they are legitimate before they can be allowed through. All emails sent and received within the fire department have to be screened by a spam filter before they can be sent or allowed into the network. This protects the network and email system from illegal access and attacks.

Responsibilities of the municipal employees regarding use of the computer network system

The employees are responsible for protecting the computing systems unauthorized access. This is done by using effective passwords, and ensuring the safety of their passwords. Employees should understand that the safety of the files, emails, and network lies in their passwords. Having an insecure account would allow hackers to gain access to the whole system. Employees are also responsible for all electronic communications they send. The communication facility provided by the municipality is a privilege and there are responsibilities each employee has towards that privilege. All communications should be ethical, respectful, and responsible.

The employees are expected to use the network resources fairly, efficiently, and responsibly Ciampa, 2011.

Consideration should be shown for other employees, and employees should refrain from any activities that can interfere with the work of others. Employees are expected not to misuse peer-to-peer applications, stream media using high bit rates, or engage in any multi-user game. Employees should also understand that they are using a shared network and any activities that consume a lot of network resources would greatly affect the other employees and disrupt their work.

It is the employee’s responsibility to read, understand, and comply with the fire department’s AUP. Any questions or clarifications that employees have should be addressed to the IT department. All employees are also expected to comply with the applicable fire department regulations, state and federal laws.

Disciplinary action for violating the AUP

Any violations to the AUP will include verbal warning, probation, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, or revocation of access. Employees should understand that if any of their activities breaks any federal or state laws they can be prosecuted. There are times when criminal charges will not be preferred against an employee, but their employment can be terminated immediately. Employees are advised to consult the IT department when they are unsure of any action. There are cases where employees will be unsure of the consequences of their actions, and it is advisable to consult before attempting to perform these actions.

The fire department has the right to disconnect any offending computer system from its network, terminating any running process that is consuming network resources, or taking any other appropriate action.


Ciampa, M.D. (2011). Security+ Guide to Network Security Fundamentals [With Access Code]. Boston, MA: Course Technology, Cengage Learning.

Flowers, B.F., & Rakes, G.C. (2000). Analyses of Acceptable Use Policies Regarding the Internet in Selected K-12 Schools. [Article]. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 32(3), 351.

Miller, J. (2004). Intellectual Freedom and the Internet: Developing Acceptable Use Policies. [Article]. School Libraries in Canada, 23(3), 24-33.

Rusk, M. (2001). Acceptable Use Policies: Four Examples from Community College Libraries. [Article]. Community & Junior College Libraries, 10(2), 83.

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