WELLINGTON NORTH – Township council has approved a social media policy for the Wellington North Fire Service.
A staff report provided to council at the June 22 meeting indicates the Wellington North Fire Services (WNFS) has developed a policy to ensure uniform usage of social media sites across the department.
This policy aims to ensure that all social media content representing the fire service “is created in a professional and consistent manner that faithfully represents both our mission statement and department values.”
The report notes the WNFS online presence helps inform the public about the happenings within the department and provides an opportunity for educating the public about fire safety and about emergency preparedness.
It also facilitates keeping the public informed during emergency events.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said councillor Steve McCabe.
“I think it’s going to be a huge advantage for our residents to see what our fire chief is up to.
“I know I’ve had a few questions about the transition from our previous fire chief to what we’re doing now so I think this will alleviate a lot of questions … I think it’s great to be open and transparent.”
Wellington North recently entered into an agreement to share a director of fire services and fire service management team with the Town of Minto.
“This platform, I trust, is similar to what you’ve got in Minto?” councillor Sherry Burke asked director of fire services Chris Harrow.
“I follow you folks on twitter … it looks like you’re suggesting it would be the same type of thing and that same type of information would be put out there?”
“Absolutely,” replied Harrow, adding, “It would be obviously tailored to Wellington North residents.”
Harrow explained information such as weather alerts and emergency situations could be shared with residents through WNFS accounts on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
“We find it very effective to be able to get information out there in an emergency, not only for roads, but for weather, traffic…” Harrow stated.
Councillor Lisa Hern stated, “I was actually excited to have a social media policy. It was one of the things before that I thought we were a little lacking.”
Harrow pointed out social media can also be used as an effective recruitment took.
“We can show everybody how Wellington North Fire service is a great fire service,” said Harrow.
“You will probably see us launch recruitment drive tools with it very shortly.”