Did You Miss the 2015 WSCFF Educational Seminar?
Videos of the plenary sessions and all of the materials provided by the speakers are posted in the Member Resources section. WSCFF members can login and watch or review the information. Go to Programs & Education/Educational Seminar for informative presentations and handouts.
A Message to our Members: Please consider the big picture before you post!
On November 29, 2014, Tukwila Fire Fighter Greg Hansen responded to an accident on I-5. As he worked to assist the driver of a car that had crashed near a busy interchange during rush hour traffic, a second vehicle ran into both the car and Hansen. He was thrown into the air, sustained serious injuries, and was transported to Harborview Medical Center. As this incident was unfolding, a message of support from fellow first responders from a neighboring local appeared on Facebook. Hansen was not identified, and the message created stress and uncertainty for the family members of on-duty Tukwila firefighters and left off-duty firefighters scrambling for more information. At the same time, members of Local 2088 were working to contact Hansen’s wife before she learned of the accident on social media. Remarkably, Hansen survived this encounter and is back on the job in Tukwila. In his words, “When I think about it, there are thousands of ways this could have gone; and each one of them is worse.”
While we are enormously grateful for Greg’s remarkable recovery, this incident provides an important lesson about the power and prevalence of social media and the need to exercise caution before posting a message about a call. As tempting as it is to turn to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook or Instagram to communicate instantly with family and friends, it is important to consider how a message might be received and to act with caution and compassion. Local 2088 President Dawn Judkins said, “This message was posted with the best of intentions. We all want to be in the know, and we want to help. But perhaps we could agree to abide by a code that says, let the department notify first.” Nobody wants to receive the news that a loved one has been injured on the job. A phone call, or a personal visit, provides people with what they need most in times of crisis: accurate, timely information, an opportunity to ask questions, and the comforting presence of coworkers and friends.