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President’s Letter: Let’s Better Connect with the Communities We Protect

The job description of a fire department is elastic, and our mission is seemingly endless. From large metropolitan fire departments to small rural volunteer organizations, we continue to fill gaps in emergency-service delivery and the prevention of disaster.

While we continue to be excellent practitioners of our various jobs, most fire-service leaders would agree that we do a poor job sharing our success stories. We must improve the connection we have with our communities, one department at a time.

There’s no better method to connect with the community today than through social media.

Nearly every generation is engaged on social-media platforms, which makes it a streamlined and cost-effective way to share success stories and information with our community members.

If your department isn’t using social media, you’re likely missing out on a valuable opportunity to connect with your customers.

Recently, just in the IAFC, social media helped engage hundreds of members by having them contact their elected representatives to protect Assistance to Firefighters Grant and SAFER Grant legislation.

Fire chiefs must be able to answer the question, “What are you doing to connect to the people you protect?”

As U.S. Fire Administrator G. Keith Bryant recently said, “We’re in the people business.”

As our communities continue to employ technology to connect with each other (not to mention perform other functions of their life), we must also evolve.

Fire Chief Thomas Jenkins
President and Chairman of the Board


The IAFC has resources available to help:

Also check out The 7 Rules of Social Media: Experts share the do's and don'ts of social media to help governments better communicate with the public online. (Government Technology article)

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