Other than 'locked, loaded,' reference firefighter's post shows no violent intent

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A screenshot of the offending post. since taken down

LEBANON, Maine - Selectmen Chairman Chuck Russell on Thursday said he would not be releasing the name of the Lebanon firefighter suspended over a social media comment he made on his personal Facebook page on Wednesday.

The post - "Heading to Portland locked and loaded" - was seen as troubling and violent by "several" town residents, according to a town press release emailed to residents just before 5 p.m. the same day.

The firefighter was identified by name in at least one news article, but The Rochester Voice will not publish his name at this time.

Merriam Webster's definition of "several" is more than two but "not many."

Russell said the town will conduct an investigation into the incident.

"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."

On Thursday morning two posts on the suspended firefighter's personal Facebook Page had been replaced with official "Content Unavailable" flags. It's not clear whether Facebook deleted the posts or the suspended firefighter. Sometime on Thursday his Facebook page was no longer viewable.

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

The Rochester Voice has obtained at least a partial screenshot of the offending post in which the first comment to "Headed to Portland locked and loaded" reads, "Put your pea shooter away (firefighter's first name)," to which the now-suspended firefighter replies, "You're just jealous because you can't go to Portland. LOL."

Why the firefighter was going to Portland is not clear from posts obtained by The Rochester Voice.

Russell said they never contacted Facebook to have the posts removed.

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