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DC Fire/EMS Wants to Be Your Friend on Facebook

The city's fire department has embraced Web 2.0 and is on the hunt for a few more "friends" and followers.

DC Fire/EMS spokesman Alan Etter said today that the department is on Facebook and on Twitter. On Facebook search for "DC FireEMS" and on Twitter, follow the department's latest updates through "dcfireems."

On Twitter -- a service that allows people to follow updates, or "tweets" from other people -- Etter plans to post breaking news and other department updates. DC Fire/EMS's last "tweet" was on Sat. Apr 4, at 5:05 p.m. That said, "working fire - 3421 M St., NW - no injuries - commercial bldg."

This approach is one way for DC Fire/EMS to compete with private paging services that listen to police and fire scanners and send out short alerts to subscribers, including several media organizations. Etter alluded to the competition in a note to local reporters: "I know there are services that describe events as well -- these will be OFFICIAL updates and will -- hopefully -- offer useable details." Meanwhile, in the department's Facebook profile you can see lots of photos of figrefighters and a video of DC Fire/EMS recruit class graduation.

On Facebook, the online presence of local law enforcement is growing. Among them, groups like "Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1- Auxiliary," "Friends Of Prince George's County Sheriff Deputies" and "Virginia State Police." Of course, lots of these groups are invite-only. But hey, you never know who might be looking for more "friends."

Theola Labbé-DeBose

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  April 6, 2009; 12:25 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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Alan Heymann, Director of Public Information for the D.C. Department of the Environment (DDOE) immediately emailed DC Wire to let us know that his agency and others in D.C. government also have Facebook pages. "Ours has 232 fans," Heymann said.

Posted by: theolalabbe-debose | April 6, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

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