'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 pleas with protesters to allow fire crews to do their jobs. The department also posted video showing damage to apparatus sustained in riots.
This was the scene last night on Marietta St in downtown #Atlanta as Squad 4 was attempting to respond to multiple vehicles on fire next to a large hotel. Please do not block fire vehicles. It could mean the difference between life and death for someone in need. #AFRD pic.twitter.com/wYqE2Zmewx— Atlanta Fire Rescue (@ATLFireRescue) May 30, 2020
Fire at Del Frisco’s Grille across from Lenox Mall is out. Windows broken and damage to numerous fire trucks. Firefighters picking up hose to leave the scene. @Atlanta_Police and @FultonSheriff protecting firefighters. #AFRD #ATL #Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/dwXXDL3iHk— Atlanta Fire Rescue (@ATLFireRescue) May 30, 2020
Seattle fire department
Seattle fire offers an update on the fires to which crews are responding, and shows how members are staying safe.
Our firefighters are out there working incredibly hard to keep you safe. There have been many vehicle fires across the downtown core and injuries to both police officers and members of the public. Read remarks from Chief Scoggins on Fireline: https://t.co/TA5hayuPJ5— Seattle Fire Dept. (@SeattleFire) May 31, 2020
We hope today's protests are safe and meaningful for those who attend. In the event that Seattle experiences similar riots that other cities have experienced the SFD is prepared. All ballistic sets that the foundation purchased are ready to go. #SeattleFD #SFD pic.twitter.com/3UuZOx9rMo— Seattle Fire Foundation (@SeattleFF) May 30, 2020
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.
Minneapolis Fire continues to respond to fires across the City. Responses may be delayed until the scene can be secured.— Minneapolis Fire (@MinneapolisFire) May 30, 2020
St. paul (Minnesota) fire Department
St. Paul Fire informs about increased call volumes and shows what they are facing during the civil unrest.
@StPaulFireDept responded to 295 calls for service in the past 24hrs. The majority of the fires were in commercial buildings. Firefighters endured rocks and bottles being thrown at them while doing their job. @sppdmn officers provided much needed security and safety. pic.twitter.com/c18OO2DX0y— Saint Paul Fire Dept (@StPaulFireDept) May 29, 2020
Philadelphia fire department
Philadelphia Fire asks the community for assistance.
Cleveland division of fire
Cleveland fire updates citizens on fire operations and shares news of damage to fire apparatus.
#CLEFIRE operating with additional staffing and extra units in response to civil unrest downtown. Multiple car fires already. Units responding to fire at Rebol Cafe on Public Square.— ClevelandFire (@ClevelandFire) May 31, 2020
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."