Posted by Kat Heath on 20 Aug 2018

It has been announced that Surrey County Council are placing a ban on all fire brigades within the county having their own Facebook or Twitter accounts.

The closing of all individual social media accounts will take place on Tuesday 21st August (today!).
A spokesperson for Surrey County Council stated:  ‘This is the most appropriate policy moving forward.’
The council insisted they are keen to ensure locally relevant information is shared via a service wide Surrey Fire and Rescue Service social media account.   However, Lee Belsten a member of the Fire Brigade Union is urging that the council reconsider this drastic action, highlighting that the individual and independently run media sites are intrinsic in promoting the hard work and dedication of the local fire services within each community throughout Surrey.

Often Fire safety advice and tips are shared alongside the promotion of community days such as various fundraisers (most recently a charity car wash which raised £2,350 at Epsom and £1,628 at Leatherhead).  The Fire services are becoming increasingly dependant on the fundraisers due to authority cuts.   There is also a concern that the rights of freedom of speech within the fire services of Surrey are being compromised.

Our neighbouring force, London Fire Brigade which serves parts of the area recently reported that since the use of its social media pages there has been a decrease of two fires a week involving young professionals compared to 2009 before the social media accounts were activated.  One reason for this is possibly because this particular demographic are immersed in social media and it’s the main channel of relaying information to them, the advice and tips communicated clearly working.

Surrey County Council have yet to provide a more specific reason for the deactivation of the SFRS social media accounts than mentioned above.  This was the last post to Epsom Fire Stations Facebook page.

“Dear all, 
Unfortunately as of August 21st this facebook page is being closed by Surrey Fire & Rescue Service.  This is not being lead by the administrators for this page or our station crews.
It has been a huge delight being able to communicate and share information with you and we can not thank you enough for your support. Once again many thanks, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you in our communities in the near future.

Kind Regards and best wishes
Epsom Fire Station.”

Keep up the good work guys and we hope we receive all the communication we need via the central account.

Kat xx

Kat Heath
Kat Heath is a qualified beauty therapist and a mum of two boys, Harry and Elliott.

Kat also has been a marketing ambassador and blogger for many on-line mummy sites as well as working as a therapist for Decleor, Clarins and Guinot within Selfridges, Peter Jones and John Lewis.

Her passions are fashion, interiors, wellbeing and food!

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