Lebanon firefighter suspended over 'locked and loaded' Facebook post

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LEBANON, Maine - A Lebanon firefighter was suspended on Wednesday after town officials say they received several complaints about a social media post on Facebook that read, "Heading to Portland locked and loaded."

The contextual meaning of "locked and loaded" in the post is not clear.

The firefighter has been identified in some news articles, but The Rochester Voice will not publish his name at this time.

A bulletin on the town's website dated Wednesday indicated the firefighter has been suspended pending an investigation.

"The conduct of our first responders, on and off duty, is something we take seriously," the bulletin said. "The subject of the posting was not reflective of the values of the Town of Lebanon or the members of our Fire/EMS department."

A Portland TV station's Facebook Page posting of the story drew 337 comments, mostly over the right of free speech.

The Facebook Page on which it was posted now says "Content Unavailable" on several recent posts.

"Locked and loaded" is a term for preparing a weapon for firing but in modern parlance, it means to be well prepared for an imminent event, as in "locked and loaded for an important business meeting."

The bulletin says they became aware of the post that led to the department member's suspension after they received several complaints from residents over the violent nature of the words.

Lebanon officials and Fire Department officers were not immediately available for comment.

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