"The problem was that the Payson Fire Department (PFD) did not have the ability to quickly disseminate current and accurate information over the Internet to the public. This resulted in many lost opportunities to inform and educate the public on fire department activities, emergency responses and major disasters. The purpose of this research was to see if and how other fire departments used online social media then use that information to help improve the way the Payson Fire Department used information technology to better inform and educate citizens. Descriptive research was used to answer questions on how the Town of Payson currently managed the use of online social media, and if and how other American fire departments managed online social media networking. Research was conducted by an interview of the Town of Payson information technology director and a nationwide survey of 216 American fire departments. The results of this research were a clear understanding of how the Town of Payson and the Payson Fire Department managed online social media and better understanding of if and how fire departments around the nation used online social media. Recommendations were made for the Payson Fire Department to educate its employees on the risks and potential consequences of posting work-related material on social media websites, to develop policies addressing the use of social media in the workplace and to commit the necessary human and financial resources to manage public education and information in the online social media environment."
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/