The note on the start page reads a bit unusual: "continuously open" is written on the facebook page of the volunteer fire department bad staffelstein. Yes, of course, that’s the way it has to be with a fire department. There is no rest there.
But for the facebook presence, this also applies in another respect: hardly any other defense force uses its page so actively around the clock. 3626 fans, the second-largest number of this kind after that of our colleagues from lichtenfels, who have 8100 fans, the largest number in the district.
"Those who hoard a martinshorn would like to know what’s going on", says holger reinlein. He heads the group consisting of florian wilde, carsten reinlein and jochen bargel, which has taken on the topic of public relations work for the fire department, which includes not only the facebook presence but also the maintenance of the homepage. When there is an alarm, you are always briefly informed about what is going on. "But we don’t want to be a substitute for information from the press", emphasizes reinlein. You will be briefed in bullet points and there are three important rules: "we only take pictures when the work is done". We are on the road to save lives and protect people. This has absolute priority."
The second important point is the protection of the victims: "it often depends on small things, such as not being able to recognize a license plate or inscriptions." special attention must be paid to this in the case of serious accidents with fatalities or seriously injured people, whereby another point comes into play. "Here, we deliberately wait before posting the message, so that we can be sure that relatives do not receive the message by chance via social networks, but from the police or the emergency chaplain."
Last but not least, we don’t want to be a substitute for other information media: "we don’t have to tell you everything about operations."
Because first and foremost, reinlein sees the facebook page as advertising for the hobby, because firefighters work on a voluntary basis. "We want to present ourselves in a positive light, the better we do that, the better we look to the public. And we also get more support for our concerns, such as new equipment."
This is also successful, as reinlein’s evaluations show. Among the videos, the ones that work best are not the ones that are made at the scene of the incident. The biggest hit at the moment is a little parody of the resolutions people are making for 2019. Lose weight, smoke less, exercise more – all things that come free with a commitment to the fire department.
Set up in 2010
Holger reinlein himself has been involved for a long time, at the age of 15 he took over the orphaned homepage as a schoolboy in 2006, in 2010 he set up the facebook page. Professionally, he is now a police officer in coburg.
"You have to keep up with the times and use things like social networks for yourself." you also broaden your own horizon. Suddenly a message from a colleague in iraq appeared in my inbox. "I could not speak arabic, he could not speak english. The google translator helped us further." they even talked about how the work on burning oil fields is done there – and reinlein helped with the question of what equipment is available in bad staffelstein.
What also interests other firefighters far beyond the county: one of the most successful posts was the presentation of a new emergency vehicle.