LFB Pump Ladder London Fire Brigade exploring answering Twitter emergency calls

The London Fire Brigade is exploring the possibility of responding to emergencies posted to it on Twitter, the latest in its efforts to engage in social media.

The London Fire Brigade is exploring the possibility of responding to emergencies posted to it on Twitter, the latest in its efforts to engage in social media.

 
Currently the service advises people to use its traditional contact method, dialling 999 on a phone, but it has now pledged to look into responding to incident reports on social networking sites.
 
“With over a billion people now using Facebook and half a billion using Twitter, it’s quite clear that social media is here to stay,” said Rita Dexter, Deputy Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade. “The London Fire Brigade is the biggest fire service in the country and we think it’s important to look into ways to improve how we communicate with the public and how they can get in touch with us.”
 
LFB Pump Ladder London Fire Brigade exploring answering Twitter emergency calls
 
Dexter said that in 1935 people doubted that dialling 999 to report emergencies would work, but now British Telecom handles over 30 million such calls every year. Social media could in the future become the new way to quickly and efficiently report incidents, she said.
 
The London Fire Brigade is not a stranger to social media. It set up a Twitter account, @LondonFire, in 2010, where it posts real-time information about incidents around London. It also has a Facebook account, where it posts fire safety information and communicates with the public about its work.
 
The service does not currently monitor social media on a 24/7 basis, but it will have to implement such monitoring or it might miss potentially life-threatening situations across England's capital. Dialling the emergency number will likely remain the default for now, but tweeting could be the default of tomorrow.
 
Source: The Telegraph