The London Fire Brigade is planning to take things a bit further by launching the world’s first 999 emergency Twitter feed to monitor fires in the city. The news comes after LFB’s recent publication of its Integrated Risk Management Plan which sets out how the fire and rescue service in London will be delivered over the next few years. The LFB says that it is looking into the use of social media, apps, and micro-blogging sites like Twitter, as tools for the future so that it can better respond to incidents.
However, the London Fire Brigade points out that people should dial 999 to report emergencies since the Twitter feed is not monitored round the clock. Statistics show one out of five in the U.K owns a smartphone and that traditional forms of communication are declining in popularity, with the overall time spent talking on the phone falling by five per cent in 2011.
“With over a billion people now using Facebook and half a billion using Twitter, it’s quite clear that social media is here to stay,” said Rita Dexter, the Deputy Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade. “The London Fire Brigade is the biggest fire service in the country and we think it’s important to look into ways to improve how we communicate with the public and how they can get in touch with us.”