Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Firefighting In the News

A person’s perspective about local, state, national, or world events is undeniably linked to the news and information he or she chooses to consume (as well as what media outlets choose to serve us). I gravitate toward emergency services stories and websites simply because that’s the field in which I work. Since I also manage my fire department’s social media, my daily newsfeed is filled with posts about emergency incidents, line-of-duty deaths and injuries, firefighter health and safety issues, training, and much more.

(Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com)
To give you an idea of what I see every day, here is a sampling of fire service headlines from July 31, 2017:

  • 2 firefighters, 1 resident injured as fire rips through historic Oregon home
  • Boise Firefighters Rescue Drunken Man Stuck in Pipe
  • Detroit firefighter dies after battling back-to-back blazes
  • Elephant Hill Fire in British Columbia grows to 194,000 acres
  • Cal Fire air tanker pilot accidentally drops fire retardant in neighborhood

Even though these stories probably didn’t receive much attention outside of the immediate geographic areas in which they occurred, it’s a safe bet that some firefighters across the country took notice. (I say “some” because, like the general population, not every firefighter pays close attention to the news these days…)

My point is this: If you’re a writer who wants to learn about firefighting for a project, don’t overlook the volumes of information available online and in your social media feeds. In addition to news items from national publications and sites, many fire departments have websites and accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. All of these are great resources for learning about the fire service, what firefighters are talking about, or how a particular department operates. They can also give you an insider’s view into what concerns firefighters in different parts of the country (and the world).

I’ve linked to some of my favorites in the Helpful Resources and Blogs Worth Reading sections of this blog, but those lists are by no means a complete catalog of what’s available. With some judicious Google searches you can find just about anything you’re looking for.

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