NJ firefighters say they faced suspension over wedding invitation photo

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GARFIELD, N.J. — A New Jersey fire department social media policy is under fire after it forced two volunteer firefighters to take down their wedding invitation on Facebook.

Paul Mellor and Danielle Szep, who met while working as volunteer firefighters, created wedding invitations using a picture of their fire coats, something they wear to save lives.

When the picture appeared on Facebook, the Garfield Fire Department told the couple that they had to take it down and get city council approval on what type of invitations they could send out.

The couple said the Garfield fire chief sent messages to them saying the photo violated the department's social media policy and if it wasn't taken down, they would be suspended. So the couple deleted the photo on Facebook.

"I didn't talk to the fire chief but I got messages from him to take the picture down from Facebook," Szep said.

But after Mellor and Szep took their plea to the mayor and Garfield City Council, they received an early wedding gift allowing their friends and family to use the picture.

"I fight a lot of fires and it's amazing how this is becoming one of my toughest battles," Mellor said.

They now can promote their wedding the way they want.

Garfield Fire Department has yet to make a decision on social media policies and firefighters.