Two New Jersey fire departments use social media to recruit and spread safety message

Amwell Fire Department text and drive

Above: A screenshot from the video shot produced by Carolyn Rizza about texting and driving.

At least two fire departments in New Jersey are using social media in their efforts to recruit volunteers and spread messages about safety.

The website NJ.com has an article about how the Amwell Valley Fire Company and the Township of Clinton are tapping the powers of Facebook and YouTube to interact with their customers.

This first video, about texting and driving, was made by 20-year old Carolyn Rizza, a volunteer firefighter with the Amwell Valley Fire Company as part of a scholarship contest.

The Township of Clinton Division of Fire produced the next video in an effort to recruit new members.

This is a good time to revisit something we posted on February 1, 2017. It is a description of the culture of firefighting in Chile, a country where almost all of the firefighters are volunteers. It was written by “scpen” who left it as a comment below one of the articles we wrote about the 747 SuperTanker assisting the Chilean firefighters.

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“The tradition of the volunteer fire fighters in Chile is a very old one. To become a volunteer firefighter there is a waiting list in every single town and city across Chile, and it often takes years to get an open slot, typically another member must sponsor the person applying. It is seen as more important and patriotic than volunteering to join the military. It is for life. Even old firefighters that are no longer able to fight fires, still show-up for training and other activities, or help with administration. Often until they die.

At the core, is a sort of belief that fighting fires and rescuing people is such an honor, and so important, that a paid, “professional” group, of fire fighters would not take it so seriously (correct or mistaken). It is not something that can be trusted to the vagaries of government ministers, budget cuts, and so on.

That said, the volunteer departments equipment is mostly provided by the government. Simply the firefighters receive donations in yearly fund raising drives, that they divided between them and is viewed as a thank you for their service through-out the year.

They do receive professional level training. Experts from the around the World are brought in to for training. Firefighters join specialized brigades such as dealing with chemical hazards, high-rise rescues, and so on.

This is not just a bunch of guys standing on the street corner they pick-up, and hand them a garden hose.”

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+