As employers continue to crack down on what’s acceptable to post on social media sites, incidents like the one in Kentucky this weekend illustrate the value fire fighters bring to the community.
March Madness took over University of Kentucky fans this past weekend when the men’s team defeated its arch state rival, the University of Louisville in a Final Four showdown.
When basketball fans began to set fire and overturn cars, Lexington, KY Local 526 chronicled it all on Twitter, sending photos and updates in real time.
The Lexington Herald-Journal and the local NBC television affiliate reposted information that the fire fighters posted.
Here are some of the tweets:
Scanner: Police can use pepperball spray if students on State Street keep throwing bottles.
[email protected]: About 9:45 p.m., cops started sweeping state street by walking in formation. Revelers are dispersing. #bbn?
[email protected]: Crowd has flipped another car in 100 block of State Street. About two dozen students are on top of it.?
IAFF Local 526 president Christopher Bartley says the union re-tweeted information when runs were completed. Local 526 uses its Twitter to help promote what fire fighters do. Saturday was no different he says. Fire fighters received between some 36 to 40 calls in regards to fires set to furniture on Saturday and to a vehicle being overturned.
Bartley says the main message he wants to get out to the public is how public safety resources are strained during events like what happened on Saturday.
IAFF Local 526 is raising awareness and getting attention. USA Today took notice and asked the union for their take on what happened on Saturday.
“For the most part, the students were cordial and they got out of our way and even clapped for us when we came through,” Bartley says. “But you got your few who wanted to vandalize and cause problems.”