FIREFIGHTERS in West Yorkshire are going social networking and it’s all in the cause of fire safety.
The county’s Fire and Rescue Service is hoping to reach a wider audience by using the website YouTube to promote its work.
The West Yorkshire service is the first brigade in the country to use the hugely popular website, which attracts about 70m visitors worldwide each month.
The first video to go on there from the fire service will be a television-style commercial promoting its first-ever awards scheme.
It features staff talking about the awards in different locations and urging people to nominate before the deadline at the end of this month.
It is hoped the videos – which will also include fire safety advice, features and news items – will reach younger audiences.
Jon Kershaw, the service’s PRO, said: “We are very forward-thinking and have been producing videos as a means to communicate fire safety with great success for about 18 months.
“The videos have so far been published on our website and 999TV, the joint web-based TV channel run in partnership with West Yorkshire Police.
“But we believe YouTube provides an excellent means for publicising our work and fire safety to an even larger audience.
“We are the first brigade to use the social networking site as an official channel of publicity for a range of videos.
“We are considering extending coverage even further by broadcasting videos on our plasma screens in public locations around the county, such as Leeds railway station and Leeds Bradford airport.”
The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Awards commercial urges members of the public and brigade employees to nominate people for awards such as Hero of the Year and Young Hero of the Year for bravery and life-saving actions.
The public can nominate now by visiting www.westyorksfire.gov.uk before the March 3 deadline.
The awards will be handed out during a ceremony at The Queens Hotel, Leeds, on May 23.