Social media offers a valuable tool for the community to communicate, and can help spread a message in an emergency, but before considering social media, please call 911.
Delaying calling 911 costs valuable time that could impact the outcome of that emergency. Please, when you see people talking about emergencies online … ask if they’ve called 911.
911 dispatchers are amazing people – the phone lines are staffed all day & night, every day, all year. 911 dispatchers are trained professionals, and often with knowledge of who is having a campfire that night (see how / why), and with training to get the emergency services required for an incident. Don’t be nervous to call them when you are concerned.
Posting “is that smoke?” or “I see fire” on social media – and/or calling the local fire department business number – which is NOT monitored – feels like taking a step, it feels like taking some action but it isn’t the correct step, it is not the correct action, and it costs time. Call the fine folk at 911.
If you see a friend posting an emergency or potential emergency on social media … ask them to call 911. It is really simple, not social media, not local phone calls … always call 911 for an emergency.
Three Smoke Reports Yesterday
Yesterday we did have three separate smoke report incidents – from multiple calls to 911 (thank you) and our firefighters responded to each. A busy Sunday. One was an active wildland grass fire at Winiger Ridge (see photo above), one was just smoke from a chimney, and the others proved to be legal campfires. (If you are counting … we had three incidents, but multiple smoke sources.)
Anyway, we cannot know which is which until we respond. You cannot know which is which before you call 911. Please call 911 when you have an emergency and/or see a potential emergency.