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Social Media and You


New York City fire fighters recently made headlines after a fire company posted unsanctioned Tweets alerting the public when fire fighters wouldn’t be able to respond to emergency calls.


The “fire tweets” started conversations on web sites and community forums on how first responders should communicate with the public and who has the right to control information.

Just as the public is tapping into social media in cases of emergency, public safety officers are also learning to use the medium to their advantage.

The Frontline Blog has urged members to use social media responsibly.

In November, the Fire Critic asked for submissions about drafting a social media policy for fire departments and posted the “School of Hard Knocks Policy” on its blog. Take a look at the rules and see how you can adapt them for your local (if a policy hasn’t already been established).

Should a broader social media policy be adapted so more fire fighters can engage the public? Should information sharing be solely left up to the fire chief and PIOs? How much information should fire fighters share with the public? How is your local using social media to help the public?  You tell us here.

Comments (1) -

  • Doug Boczek (Mount Vernon)

    12/7/2010 9:48:55 AM |

    As hesitant as a lot of firefighters are about this, social media is becoming the norm. It's been one of the fastest growing forms of communication in history. I really think that if our Unions and fire departments don't utilize it, we'll be left behind and unable to effectively get our messages out. Just with anything else, we have to use it responsibly. We have a Facebook and Twitter for our local and have used both to effectively spread our messages. Administrator access to both are extrememly limited to just a couple members.

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