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Division Chief Robert Bassett stated in a letter that Lt. Barber, a 28-year veteran of the department, demonstrated his commitment to the community and to his profession in his extraordinary actions. All of the skills performed on scene prior to Fire Department arrival were accomplished without any medical equipment being readily available to Lt. Barber.
Facebook Users LIKE Firehouse.com
As business-to-business media companies look for new ways to grow their social media assets, our very own Firehouse.com may have unlocked the secret to engaging niche audiences using a few simple initiatives. Strategies born out of the brand’s marketing program – “Operation Engagement” – helped to more than double Firehouse.com’s Facebook fan audience to more than 135,000, earning Publisher Mike Natchipolsky and Editor-in-Chief Peter Matthews a coveted spot at the top of this year’s B to B Social Media Marketing Awards in the Facebook category.
“Social media requires consistent engagement, and a sincere attachment to the marketplace,” says Natchipolsky. "While we use our Facebook ‘LIKE’ links in nearly all of our portal media, print it in our magazine and promote it at our tradeshows, fan conversion is not easy, or a given. ‘Operation Engagement’ was a marketing program we tested and were pleased at the results.”
Paul Gillin, author of three books on social media, was one of the award judges who cited Firehouse.com as a “visually stunning website” during this week's award ceremony in New York. The program included a panel of other top winners including Matthews and executives from Cisco Systems and LexisNexis Group, companies that were both honored as People’s Choice winners.
“Facebook keeps us connected with daily topics and trends from firefighters around the country,” adds Matthews. “Engaging with this public safety audience has been a unique experience that goes well beyond the numbers.”
Firehouse.com is the leading fire and emergency services portal, serving nearly 500,000 unique visitors monthly. The site has also received international acclaim for its interactive coverage. This year, it celebrates 12 years of serving First Responders.
Ocala Eyes are Smiling
Have you ever wondered what St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are like in Ireland? A group of Ocala Florida firefighters now knows from experience.
In June of 2008, the mayors of Ocala, FL, and Newbridge, Ireland, signed a “twinning” agreement, making the locales official “Twin Cities.” As part of the agreement, Ocala Fire Rescue and Ocala Police Department have the privilege to make the trip to Ireland to meet their counterparts and march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. This year, firefighters Brian Stoothoff and Tom Thomas and police officers Erica Hay and Casey Walsh paid their own airfare and expenses to represent the City of Ocala.
The delegation brought four flags from home with them to be carried in the parade – an American flag, and flags representing the City of Ocala, Ocala Fire Rescue and Ocala Police Department.
The Newbridge parade was attended by an estimated 30,000 people. At the conclusion of the parade the officials were treated like celebrities, posing for pictures with the locals.
Throughout the week, many activities were planned for the group, including visits to local manufacturing facilities, a horse race at the Curragh, a greyhound race, and a visit to the Defense Force training facility and museum.
“The parade and the whole Irish experience was certainly one of the highlights of my career and life,” states Ocala Battalion Chief Brian Stoothoff, a 29-year veteran of the department and a recipient of Firehouse Magazine’s 2009 Heroism & Community Service Award.