'New technologies - friend or foe?' was the theme of the second day of the Institution of Fire Engineers conference from Stratford-upon-Avon.

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Ron Dobson opened the morning's session by providing an insight into the Brigade's social media strategy. He said it provides "a significant and effective way to get community safety messages across", but needs to be used strategically.

He said that Twitter is used for incident updates, Facebook to discuss fire service issues and consult on incident risk management planning, YouTube for demonstrations, whilst LinkedIn is used for recruitment. Commissioner Robson highlighted the importance of speed of communication, "getting on the front foot", learned from incidents such as the 7/7 bombings.

Social media provides an opportunity to give accurate information on incidents, give reassurance to the public, raise awareness and influence behaviour, he explained. However, he did highlight the potential difficulties that could arise, such as people tweeting whilst being involved in incidents.

The Brigade increased Twitter followers by 2,362 over Bonfire Night and 3,146 at the peak of last year's civil disturbances. London Fire Brigade now has over 23,000 followers.


Posted July 5th, 2012 at 1105 by Andrew. Comment by emailing andrew.lynch@pavpub.com