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Oct/Nov, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - MA

Ten Ways Social Media Works For Your Department


by Chief Joel Miller

1. Ensure your social media policies work for the department and do not completely restrict your social media platforms. Do not leave “gray areas” for interpretation such as making policies so strict or confusing that people are deterred from utilizing them. 2. Utilize your PIO (Public Information Officer) as your social media administrator. This is the person with the information that needs to be available on your social media. They can do this from the field as the action happens and even use social media for a press conference or mass notification. 3. Consider utilizing firefighters as volunteer PIOs for your social media accounts. This allows you to cover more areas than having one PIO. Volunteers can be given rules and guidelines for posting pictures and information or have all posts funnel through the official PIO for actual posting. Many fire departments have been very successful with this approach. Just make sure your crew understands, work first and social media second unless they are the official PIO. 4. Establish a following. Make sure your fire departments’ social medial information is on everything! In today’s world, this is just as important as your phone number…….and I’m not talking about 911. So, from business cards to flyers for an event, be sure to include all your departments’ social media information. 5. Work smarter not harder. Let your social media accounts promote

your events and fund raisers. Use social media to direct people where to buy tickets or make donations to your events. 6. Always post the “great” things that are going on within your department such as fire prevention, feeding the homeless, or other public services in which your department participates. 7. Always post your departmental promotions and retirements on social media. This is a great way to let the community know about your departments’ accomplishments and recognize staff for their hard work and dedication. 8. As I stated in a previous article “A Picture is NOT Worth a Thousand Words," you must always tell the story behind the picture because if you don’t, people will assume the worst and reflect negatively on your department. Keep the story brief, as most readers only read the first two or three lines. 9. Use other groups and organizations’ social media pages to help promote your page. Tag other people with large sites relevant to your page and use their hashtag to help promote your pictures and get your information in front of the masses. (@chief_miller #chiefmiller , just saying… lol) 10. Start a hashtag for your department and use it consistently on all your posts. This is an important way for others to find your page in the social media world. Choose a hashtag that is relevant to your department while keeping it simple and easy to remember.



Smithsburg Family Displaced by Electrical Fire Smithsburg, MD - On the morning of August 29th, emergency crews were dispatched out to the Whispering Hills subdivision in Smithsburg for a reported structure fire at 2:26 A.M. Washington County 911 received a call from the residents at 100 Daniels Court reporting a fire in their garage. Smithsburg Fire Co. was quickly dispatched out on the assignment with multiple other departments due on Box 7-1. Additional reports came in to Washington County reporting the blaze to be spreading as crews were marking up on the call. Smithsburg Fire Chief Dale Fishack marked within minutes after dispatch and was advised by Washington County Dispatch that they had reports of a fire in the garage that was rapidly spreading, and that the family was in the process of evacuating the home. Directly after the report from dispatch, Smithsburg EMS arrived on the scene to find heavy fire conditions. Paramedic 79-1 reported that they had a two-story wood-frame residential structure with an attached garage that was fully involved with extension into the house. On Paramedic 79-1’s report, Chief Fishack immediately requested the Safety Assignment started on the box. Smithsburg EMS confirmed all occupants out of the structure and began going door-to-door evacuating surrounding residences that were being threatened by the blaze. Chief Fishack arrived as heavy fire could be seen through-

JUMP TO FILE #092517103 out the second-floor of the residence. Chief Fishack established Daniels Court Command, reporting that they had a fully involved garage and fire through the roof of the house. Smithsburg Fire’s Engine 7-1 arrived on the scene, dropping a line to the "Alpha" side of the structure and setting up their operations with Longmeadow’s Quint 27. Command had additional incoming units set up operations in the parking lot of Smithsburg Elementary School on the “Charlie” side of the structure up the back hill from the residence, just off of North Main Street. Firefighters battled the morning blaze with ladder pipe operations and multiple attack lines in a defensive mode from the exterior only. It took crews over an hour to bring the blaze under control. Firefighters were committed on the scene for several hours after the blaze was knocked conducting extensive overhaul operations. The scene was later turned over to the State Fire Marshal’s office who were on the scene all morning conducting their investigation in to the cause of the blaze. Fire Marshals cleared the scene in the early afternoon around 1:00 P.M. Smithsburg Fire was recalled to the scene shortly after the Fire Marshals cleared for a reported rekindle on the second-floor of the house after a neighbor reported seeing smoke coming from the residence. Smithsburg responded

out with Longmeadow Quint 27 and used the ladder pipe to soak down the second-floor and extinguish the smoldering fire. The home on Daniels Court was deemed a total loss after the blaze. Damage to the home was estimated to be $330,000 between the structure and the contents within. The next door neighbor’s home received extensive exterior damage from the heat put out by the blaze, but no extension into the home itself. Deputy State Fire Marshal Ed Ernst confirmed that the point of origin of the fire was in the garage, and the cause was determined to be from an electrical failure. No injuries were reported during the incident and the family is currently receiving assistance from the American Red Cross. Over 50 emergency personnel responded out to the incident, including Smithsburg Fire Co.7 who received assistance from Leitersburg Fire Co.9, Mt. Aetna Fire Co.16, Franklin County, PA’s Waynesboro Fire Co.2, Smithsburg EMS Co.79, HFD’s Independent Juniors Engine 3, Longmeadow Fire Co.27, Washington County Special Operations 20, Boonsboro Fire Co.6, Frederick County, MD’s Thurmont Fire Co.10 and Wolfsville Fire Co.21, Community Rescue Co.75, Washington County DES, Washington County Air Unit, and Washington County Fire & Rescue Association Rehab Unit 255. - WILLIAM KING

Profile for Belsito Communications Inc.

1st Responder Mid Atlantic October November Edition  

1st Responder Mid Atlantic October November Edition