The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is a long-time ally of the County Public Schools in the delivery of fire safety and injury prevention education. Through public education visits from firefighters at schools, students visiting fire/EMS Stations, participation in career days and the recent addition of the High School Fire Cadet program the department and schools have worked collaboratively in educating staff and students about fire safety and injury prevention. Now the two agencies are using social media to help bring fire safety and injury prevention into homes and classrooms.
During a late November cold spell the County experienced a rash of fires. Seeing and hearing about the fires in the media, the County Public Schools Communications Director, Briant K. Coleman, M.A., reached out to the Fire/EMS Department Community Outreach office and asked, “How can we help you send the message home about fire safety?” After discussing many opportunities that were available the Fire/EMS Department provided an e-copy of select Fire Safety Tips in both English and Spanish. Rather than printing thousands of copies of the tip sheets for students to review and take home the County Public Schools opted for a more cost effective wide-reaching method by using their web site and social media site; Twitter. The school system has posted the fire safety tip sheets on the front page of their website. Literally thousands of students, staff and teachers can see and download these tip sheets. Teachers are referencing the tip sheets for classroom instruction and homework assignments and parents have an opportunity to see the tip sheets as they browse the schools website.
The County Public Schools and the Fire/EMS Department are using social media to reach a broader audience and expand the reach of Briant Coleman’s “sending the message home about fire safety” offer.
Each day the Twitter site, @PGCPS, has been posting a single tip from the list of many, in turn, the Fire/EMS Department, @PGFDPIO, will retweet the schools message of the day.
Through the combined efforts the agencies are getting the message out to thousands every day. The Fire/EMS Department appreciates the assistance of the County Public Schools and looks forward to the success of our continued partnership.
For information about fire safety and injury prevention programs call our Community Outreach office at 301-883-5250 or Email [email protected]