Twitter catches on Fire

In an earlier post we saw that a few police departments had begun experimenting with Twitter . . . And now we see the fire departments Twitter, too!

In an earlier post we saw that a few police departments had
begun experimenting with Twitter . . . And now we see the fire departments
Twitter, too!


Thanks to Grant Griffiths for his post in the Twitterverse! Grant runs one of the best blogs
out there
for those who do freelance work. Others covered it
previously, but I wasn’t connected to them, so I didn’t get the message (there’s a message

In Governing/December 2007, : Ellen Perlman’s (Tech Talk)
writes “For the department, twittering is an easy, free way to get important
information out to the public. If, in the aftermath of, say, an earthquake, Los
Angeles wanted to send out a boil water alert, one message could alert millions
of people instantly. ‘It’s even better than the Goodyear blimp flying around,’
says Humphrey, who also serves as the department’s public information

I can see the value for fire departments. Apparently, though, me and the
and perhaps Ellen are the only ones who can.

In a search of Twitter
for subscribers describing themselves as “fire department,” the LAFD was “Results
1 – 1 of 1.” Now it’s possible that there are departments out there who just
haven’t listed themselves the right way (it’s all public access, so like the
yellow pages “fire department” would be the most logical).

There are plenty of users with the word “fire” in their name or description,
like @SilverFire, @theCOLORofFIRE, @FireAngel, @StrangeFire, @iFire, and
@Nuclear_Fire, but the majority haven’t posted an update (indicating a lack of
participation) in several months. There was one for California Fire
(@CalFireNews), but they appear to be just getting started, so
if you would like to follow them that might help get them motivated!

Here’s just a sample of the LAFD Twitter posts. Can you see the value
in getting these on your mobile phone?


*Greater Alarm Structure Fire* 15222 W. Stagg St.; TG 531-H3; FS 90,
story commercial warehou…

*UPDATE: 4630 N. Cerro Verde Pl.* Small fire starting in a pool
spread into approx. 1/4 …

*Brush Fire* 4630 N. Cerro Verde Pl.; TG 560-H4; FS 93, Small amount
brush burning behind a …

*UPDATE: 120 E. 8th St.* Incident possibly caused by small fire
electrical vault. DWP on sc…

Granted there are a lot of leading edge tech-aware folks in the Los Angeles
area, but how ’bout some of the other large (and relatively progressive in a
technology sort of way) metropolitan fire departments? Off the top of my head,
given what LAFD learned, I would say New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Houston
would be prime candidates. Personally, I would think Nashville would also jump
into the mix, but . . .

So you can check how many are participating long after this has posted, here
are a couple of self-updating links. These will identify mentions of the quoted
words on Twitter.

What do you think?