Firewire Bradford County gaining popularity on Facebook
January was a big month for emergency notification systems in Bradford County. While a highly publicized CodeRED system was made operational across the county in an effort to easily inform the public of emergency situations, there was another system being introduced as well.
Firewire Bradford County (FBC), a Facebook page dedicated to informing citizens about happenings in Bradford County went operational on Jan. 5, just days before CodeRED was introduced.
FBC allows local residents that are interested in the daily happenings of the county to obtain information quickly and easily.
FBC is run by four volunteer firefighters with a combined 35 years of experience, who each day take turns updating the page with up to the minute information on car accidents, road closures, storm information, and community events, just to name a few.
The four choose not to be named. "We want to be anonymous because sometimes people associate us with Bradford County 911, and we don't want to be associated with anyone. If someone thinks we are affiliated with a group, it can cause problems," a site administrator said.
Currently, FBC is reaching approximately 15,000 people weekly through posts being shared and viewed by friends of friends who liked the page. For example, if someone shares a post from FBC, all of that person's friends can then see the post. This allows a network of information to flow through acquaintances to reach an amount of people roughly equal to 25 percent of Bradford County's entire population (62,917 in 2011 according to the U.S. Census Bureau).
FBC also does not allow rumors to be started on its Facebook page. While it does encourage user participation in posting events, FBC has a no tolerance policy for those commenting with incorrect or personal information. "Patient information is something we are very careful about. People should not be learning a loved ones medical condition through our Facebook page," an FBC spokesman said.
While FBC is in its infancy, having only existed for a little over a month, the staff remains dedicated to keeping the public informed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
FBC can be found at www.Facebook.com/FirewireBradfordCounty.
Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org