Social Media and the Baltimore City Fire Department   [open pdf - 202KB]

"In recent years there has been an explosion of social media activity in America and throughout the world. The proliferation of the social media has affected public safety organizations in one way or another. Many of the public safety organizations do not have policies in place that provide sound guidance on the social media explosion. The problem is that the Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) does not have a social media policy to protect the interest of the BCFD and the citizens that it serves. The expanded use of social media coupled with a strong social media policy will enhance the BCFD's ability to protect the citizens of Baltimore and protect the interests of the BCFD. The purpose of this research was to identify the need for a social media policy and identify ways to enhance the protection of the BCFD through the use of the social media. The ultimate goal of this research paper was to identify ways to improve the safety of the public and the citizens of Baltimore City. The author used descriptive research methods to answer the following research questions, (a) what are the potential and past problems for public safety resulting from social media (b) what policies have other public safety organizations established to protect the public and the public safety organization, and (c) what are the laws that apply to public safety and social media? The results of the research indicated that the BCFD needed to produce a strong social media policy that provides guidance to its members. The results identified some shortfalls in the policies of the BCFD. The recommendations based on this research project were to develop a social media policy and educate all BCFD employees on the proper use of the social media."

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United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/
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