Thread: Public Relations
03-19-1999, 08:45 AM #1ccc530Firehouse.com Guest
What does your department do for P.R.? Do you think that it's important? What is the publics' perseption of your department and the job that it is doing?
03-19-1999, 03:40 PM #2nsfirechapFirehouse.com Guest
How the public percieves us is one of the most important tasks we can do-from educating the public on fire safety to how we do our job-especially when we are not able to save a house or business from becoming a parking lot. Our Chief is about the best at this that I have seen. you can contact him through our web site at www.alaska.net/~nsfsa.
Chaplain Jeff Turkel
North Star Fire Department
North Pole, Alaska
03-20-1999, 12:09 AM #3GillFirehouse.com Guest
Oh yeah PR is important. Any town that has saved just one life due to fire safety education should be able to attest to that.
My fire department does tours, and takes the rigs out to the mall on special occassions. Once a year during the Fire Safety Week we have an open house.
One thing I would like to see more in terms of PR is the fire department being more proactive towards PR. Now it seems that all our PR is public initiated. School, parents, etc call us up and request a tour. I think the we should be calling schools and other organizations and asking them if we can come out, or they come down to show them what we do and teach them something about fire safety.
That's my two cents...be safe!
03-20-1999, 11:58 AM #4LedbellyFirehouse.com Guest
We have an annual Open House, do the school shows during fire prevention week and demos, etc. when asked. I agree with Gill that we need to be more proactive! I was lucky enough to attend the NFA last summer and we had a good discussion about this. Consensus was: the PD is way ahead of us in this area; and we need to "sell" our departments much like a private company...our product is SERVICE. Ideas ranged from participating in Nat'l Nite(s) Out (a PD promotion of Neighborhood Watch programs) to doing Home Fire/Safety Inspections ala the PD's crime prevention inspection (of locks, lights, etc.) to local Public Service announcements and even public access TV shows. Our PD recently was at grocery stores around town with a survey...how-we-doing, what's-your-main-concern-about-crime, etc. I feel we could adopt a similar approach for the Fire Dept. Anything to get out in the "public eye"; think about it...most of the time the public only sees us when there is an emergency.
With the future of budget crunches, privatization and combination of departments/services this is a very important issue facing us. We probably need to expand our Pub Ed to involve the whole department. (it's not here)
BTW-nsfirechap...I'm going to check your site so thanks!
Watch yer topknots...Lee
03-20-1999, 01:13 PM #5hyloFirehouse.com Guest
The public in Dublin new very little about their fire service, for instance most people did not know that the emergency ambulance that arrived at a scene was rnu and manned by the citys firefighters.
We are in the middle of a tv programme on the national televison station, called D watch, it's a fly on the wall account of six weeks spent on turnout with the fire service in our capital, it is a six week programme and has worked wonders in educating the public to the roll we play in society.
But I think the key is to educate the kids at school level, when they relise the diversity of our job and that we are there only to help,our respect and relations will soare.
Stay safe friends,
Mark aka Hylo.
03-21-1999, 10:49 AM #6LT trk106Firehouse.com Guest
Our dept. does pretty much what has been said in the other respones. One thing that we hope to be working on when we get our new chief( we had a cop as public saftey director for the last three years), is to expand our part of the citys web page. Ive seen some very nice pages for other fire depts. across the country and think it is a great idea. There is a lot of people on the net now, and I think iit is under used by fire depts .
03-22-1999, 09:54 PM #7TASK FORCE 5Firehouse.com Guest
CCC530, OUR FIRE DEPT COVERS A
LARGE CITY IN CALIF, OUR PR PROGRAM IS ALIVE AND WELL, WE CAN ALWAYS TRY TO DO BETTER, HERE ARE SOME OF THE WAYS WE HAVE TO PROJECT OUR IMAGE..
1. TREAT EVERYONE WITH THE RESPECT THAT YOU WOULD WANT IF THE PROBLEM WAS YOURS.
2. WE ARE INVOLVED WITH THE NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAM PUT ON BY THE PD..THEY HAVE A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH MEETING THE ENGINE FROM THAT AREA ALSO ATTENDS TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THE PUBLIC MIGHT HAVE.
3. LIKE MOST OTHER DEPTS WE ARE VERY ACTIVE DURING FIRE PREVENTION WEEK, SCHOOLS, (1-6 GRADE). DISPLAYS AT LOCAL MALLS,,ECT
4. AFTER AN INCIDENT (FIRE, EMS, INSPECTIONS,) THE DEPT ADMIN SENDS OUT A QUESTIONAIRE, WHICH CONTAINS QUESTIONS LIKE, DO YOU FEEL YOU WERE INFORMED OF EVERYTHNG. HOW WERE YOU TREATED, ECT..WE ARE RUNNING 98.2% POSITVE FOR OUR DEPT..
5. SOME OF THE ENGINES AND TRUCKS CARRY A COUPLE OF STUFFED ANIMIALS FOR THE KIDS THAT MAY HAVE JUST LOST EVERYTHING OR HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A TRAMATIC SITUATION,,THIS IS DONE AROUND THE COUNTRY..
6. WE HAVE TRADING CARDS FOR THE KIDS THAT DEPICT OUR FIRE DEPT IN ACTION,,20 DIFFERENT CARDS,,WHEN WE STARTED PASSING THEM OUT, IT TOOK ABOUT A WEEK BEFORE EVERY KID IN THE CITY KNOWS THAT EVERY FIRE ENGINE OR TRUCK CARRIES THEM..WHEN YOU GIVE A COUPLE TO SOME KIDS THERE PARENTS COME OUT AND YOU GET TO TALK TO THEM FOR A WHILE,,THIS IS JUST FANTASTIC..
7. ALWAYS WAVE WHEN PEOPLE WAVE TO YOU,
8. REMEMBER THE PUBLIC PAYS FOR YOU AND YOUR EQUIPTMENT,,ITS THERES!! IF THEY WANT TO SEE IT BY ALL MEANS SHOW THEM,,STAY FRIENDLY
PEOPLE LOVE FIREFIGHTERS,,ITS SOMETHING THEY ALL WISH THEY COULD DO, WE DO NOT GIVE OUT TICKETS, OR TAKE DADDY TO JAIL,,THIS IS THE IMAGE THAT THE PD MUST OVERCOME,,IT WILL BE HARD FOR THEM..
IF YOU DON'T THINK SOME OF THESE THINGS WILL S
WORK, WE JUST GOT BINDING INTEREST ARBITRATION ON A BALLOT AND PASSED 10 TO 1.....IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE E-MAIL US ANYTIME..
STAY SAFE....TASK FORCE 5
TASK FORCE 5
04-19-1999, 05:08 PM #8JayFirehouse.com Guest
The department I am with is a mid to large midwestern fire/ems dept. We have three people whose sole job is education and PR. I was amazed when I first came to this division to see the benefits of not just working well with the public (hopefully a given to most), but with the local media. Never underestimate the value of good media relations!! We have an extremely close relationship with the tv, radio and newspaper reporters. In fact, a tv station is helping to sponsor a fund raising program to purchase thermal imaging cameras. How did this relationship evolve? One thing is that we gave all the media outlets pagers. They are alphanumeric pagers that are tripped anytime there is a "full response", known working structure fire, or incident that we know they would find of interest. Another idea is to invite the media along on a ride along. Recently we gave a bloodborne pathogen class to members of the media who would be intersted in riding on one of the paramedic units here. I guess whatever would work in your jurisdiction is the way to pursue it. Do not just stop with the usual avenues of PR. Go beyond it and realize that the media can be a great friend to have when you're on the other side of the fireline tape. I am always happy to talk to brother firefighters about this or anything else. Keep safe!
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