It appears that the time has come to set some ground rules and discuss some policies for this blog.

We have a fairly strong readership, and many satisfied readers. We have a large group of responsible and dedicated contributors who are the backbone for the content found on this site.

So, let’s talk about making comments. An open forum is healthy. It can be both fun and informative. It can also be hurtful and vengeful. As the webmaster, some time ago I made the conscious decision to unlock the review period for those posting comments. It became too cumbersome to preview all posts prior to approving them, and it often introduced lengthy delays from when the comment was made and when it was posted.

Most comments are fine, but recently we’ve had some critiquing that went further than this blog may have ever intended to have happen. It’s an evolving process that requires periodic review.

Several readers have in the past tried to offer their interpretation of what this blog should be, by asking others to keep their critiques and criticisms to a minimum on this forum. As the webmaster, I try to remain neutral and let the forum run on it’s own.

I think that I speak (I’m presuming that I do) for the majority of readers when I say that we’d rather have the continued support and submissions from our regular contributors, than the occasional armchair quarterbacking from a small group of anonymous readers. In the years that this site has been up, I can probably count on one hand the number of comments that I’ve stopped from being posted due to what I felt was inappropriate. These comments came from totally anonymous sources. It’s not about censorship or free speech, both of which I am always conscious of, and I support. It’s about common courtesy and common sense.

We can’t blame the messenger for conveying something that may not be perfect, safe, according to NFPA, department protocol, or common sense. That responsibility belongs with the message itself. That being said, this is not our goal. We all understand that we live in a time where instant notification of events with images provides access to many where previously something may have only been seen by a few.

So, if you’ve got something to say, stop and think about it before you hit send. If you really feel strongly about an issue, then back it up by providing your name like so many of our readers do.

As the webmaster, I will take it upon myself in the future to withdraw something that may incite negativity that is not appropriate for this forum. It’s clearly a judgement call on my part, but that will be the direction for now. Again, the blog is a fluid environment that is constantly changing.

Should you wish to engage in critiquing the minutia found in an image, there is another very popular site which is largely dedicated to doing just that.

I welcome your comments and thoughts, and I thank you for visiting this site. Additionally, I wish to extend my apologies to those who bore the brunt of this insensitivity, as this was never the intent of this site.