The Firehouse® Magazine website, Firehouse.com, was used as a source of information about the Worcester, MA, and Keokuk, IA, tragedies, as well the other firefighter line-of-duty deaths that occurred in December 1999, by media outlets throughout the country and abroad. We asked Firehouse.com Senior...
To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Firehouse. Already have an account? Login
Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.
Complete the registration form.
What were the weeks like during the Worcester tragedy?
The Firehouse.com WebTeam worked overtime, putting in many late nights - and sometimes working around the clock — during the two weeks of the tragedy as updates happened, organizing coverage with local media, responding to e-mail and media requests, updating photo slide shows and stories.
What were the actual totals for website visits?
For December, more than 5 million pages of information were viewed on the site with an average of nearly 16,000 user sessions per day, eclipsing 30,000 users daily during the peak of the Worcester coverage.
Can you tell where the visitors are from?
Through the postings in the message forums (more than 1,200 messages of condolence from the Worcester tragedy alone, not including the other line-of-duty deaths, or LODDs). The visitors were from throughout the world – from Australia and New Zealand to neighbors and friends right from Worcester and Keokuk and the other cities where those lost in December were from.
What kind of cooperation have you had from other news agencies?
We had incredible cooperation from the local media in Worcester. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette covered the story more than any other newspaper, being the hometown paper. We were able to use a variety of their stories and photos, as well as use their offices to update the site from Worcester following the memorial service. We also were able to link to live and taped video feeds from New England Cable News (NECN). Both NECN and Boston’s WHDH-TV provided live feeds of the memorial service that we were able to in turn provide to our visitors. Hundreds of people watched the memorial service live on the Internet and thousands more viewed video clips of the memorial service and news clips from throughout the week.
What are some of the most moving e-mails that Firehouse.com has received about the coverage?
We received many e-mails from the community that were especially touching, thanking firefighters for the job they do as well as firefighters around the world joining in support of one another during a very trying time. We also had a forum where people could post stories about being in Worcester for the memorial service, you may want to check some of those out at http://www.firehouse.com/interactive/boards/Forum18/HTML/000302.html
In what ways have you heard that Firehouse.com been used other than a new source? Anything like being used by school students doing reports, etc.?
We get e-mails and requests all the time from kids who are doing reports, search the web and find us. Our InfoZone, which will expand vastly this year, includes a variety of child and fire safety information in partnerships with the United States Fire Administration and the National Safe Kids Campaign. And this year we’ll be adding even more information on domestic and disaster preparedness from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other sources, as well as legislative information from the Congressional Fire Services Institute and the National Volunteer Fire Council. We just want it to be a great resource for not only emergency service professionals, but for the general public - teachers, parents, students - and as Fire Prevention Week 2000 approaches we hope to really step up nationally and be the leading source of information. Our forums are also a great resource. There are many questions that we can’t answer ourselves, but through the incredible sources and variety of folks who participate in our forums, they can answer just about any question on any topic as it relates to the emergency services.