Social Media Policies
Social media can be a great way for a fire/EMS department to enhance communication and information exchange, streamline processes, and foster productivity. However, departments should have a policy in place to make sure that all members properly use this communication tool as representatives of the department. Below are some resources for implementing social media in your department's communication and outreach initatives:
- The NVFC has sample social media policies available to help departments when formulating their own policy. These include the IAFC's Model Fire and EMS Department Social Media policy, which is a tool for developing a department position on the use and management of social media and guidelines for administration and oversight, as well as sample policies from departments and other resources. NVFC members can access these sample policies on the Members-Only section of the NVFC web site (login and then select Members-Only Resources).
- The First Responder Communities of Practice Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG) released a Social Media Strategy to provide public safety groups with a high-level introduction to social media and its benefits for public safety, including examples and best practices from agencies already using social media. It serves as a starting point for developing an agency's detailed social media strategy.
- The VSMWG also released the Community Engagement Guidance and Best Practices to highlight best practices for the use of social media by public safety agencies of all disciplines for meaningful and successful engagement of community members and stakeholders.
- Fire Chief Magazine interviewed NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg in May 2012 to discuss how social media can benefit a department and how to avoid associated pitfalls.
- Fire Chief Magazine's article "How to Create Social Media Policies, Avoid Pitfalls" takes a more in-depth look at the pros and cons of social media for a fire department. The article includes a link to a sample social media policy from Rutherford (NJ) Volunteer Fire Department.