Social Media Tips

Social Media and Emergency Responder Organizations

I have been reading some great content about social media and emergency responder organizations.

Social Media Discipline During Firefighter Injury or Line of Duty Death
Many of us share the highs and lows of life through Facebook. Last week after making phone calls and private emails to my closest friends and family I shared on Facebook the passing of my beloved yellow lab. It seemed natural for me to share this down moment with the broader community that knew me and also knew that being a dog owner is a part of my self-identity.

Because Facebook has become so ingrained in our daily lives it is a natural place for us to share tragedy, ask for prayers, and solicit for additional information. The Fire Critic has written an excellent post about Social Media Discipline. Ask your crews or companies to read this post and then discuss how you will honor one another and the chain of command by using social media discipline should a colleague become seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.

Also every organization should have a LODD standard operating guidelines, policy or checklist. And just like any other significant incident that might befall your organization practice the LODD SOG. In the tabletop exercise make sure to include:

  • Use of checklists
  • Notification of next of kin
  • Notification of on-duty crews
  • Moving up resources
  • Preparation of a statement for the local media
  • Implementation of any occupational health procedures like drug testing
  • Activation of counseling services
  • Posting updates to the organization blog and Facebook page
  • Directions to all staff on social network sharing

This is just a partial list for the first few hours. What else would you add to a line of duty death tabletop exercise?

Also check out this interview with Tonya Silloway about the LODD Handbook for EMS on the Medical Author Chat podcast.

2012 Social Media Predictions for Emergency Responder Agencies

Dave Konig, co-founder of, looks into his crystal ball and makes some very astute predictions for Social Media for Emergency Responder Agencies in 2012. If your agency is still on the fence about social media I agree with Dave that it is not a passing fad that you will be able to simply wait out. It is hear to stay.

I have noticed the changing tone within EMS about social media based on the speaking requests I am getting for 2012. In the past requests were typically “how can our agency stop social media usage?” or “how do I control the message?” Now conference organizers are telling me, our constituents have to get involved in social media. They ask, “How can they do it effectively and communicate value to their community.”

Is your agency changing its tone about social media usage? 




By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.