'Do not block fire vehicles': Fire departments take to social media amid civil unrest

As protests spread nationwide, fire service leaders share messages to plea with protesters, reassure citizens, share safety measures and detail response efforts

As protests spread nationwide – some turning to riots – fire departments are turning to social media to connect with their communities. The messages are varied, some seeking to assure citizens of their continued presence, others reinforcing curfews or sharing safety measures, and even some pleading with protesters to remain peaceful and allow firefighters to do their jobs.

Here’s how some fire departments are using social media during these events:

Atlanta Fire-Rescue

Atlanta Fire-Rescue pleas with protesters to allow fire crews to do their jobs. The department also posted video showing damage to apparatus sustained in riots.

Seattle fire department

Seattle fire offers an update on the fires to which crews are responding, and shows how members are staying safe.

Minneapolis fire department

Where it all began. Minneapolis fire continues to respond where possible. Fire Chief John Fruetel explained to CNN that the department is taking a cautious approach to fire operations, as scene safety must be established before fire attack is possible.

St. paul (Minnesota) fire Department

St. Paul Fire informs about increased call volumes and shows what they are facing during the civil unrest.

Philadelphia fire department

Philadelphia Fire asks the community for assistance.


A post shared by Philadelphia Fire Department (@phillyfiredept) on

Cleveland division of fire

Cleveland fire updates citizens on fire operations and shares news of damage to fire apparatus.

Miami-Dade fire-rescue department

Miami-Dade is staging in case of an emergency.

Los Angeles fire department

LAFD shares emergency alerts to ensure citizens have the information they need about curfews and calling 911.

Portland fire & rescue

Chief Sara Boone gives emotional speech about riots that occurred in Portland, saying directly to those who engaged in criminal acts, You have put so many lives in harm’s way … Our members put their lives in harm’s way in order to keep these fires small, in order to save lives.”

She continued: "This was a traumatic experience for everybody. But I want people to understand, when we talk about trauma, when we talk about fear, when we talk about nobody is there to protect us, that’s what black people feel every single day, whether you’re going to a grocery store, whether you’re raising a child, whether you’re walking across the street, whether you walk into City Hall, you have already been targeted, you have already been marginalized. You walk in fear because of the color of your skin. So this is not about one killing or one moment or where we are today. If you really want to help understand a system that we have been living in since the day we got here, see the world through our eyes – through black and brown people, our perspective, because a lot of what we felt last night when it comes to government workers, when it comes to civil servants, when it comes to people who are protected, they felt fear."


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