08/31/11 307 W - + 8 - 6 Apex Rescue Team Weathered Storm to Help Irene Victims

That's the headline from this WRAL story about the Apex Fire Department's swift-water team, and their role in the response to Hurricane Irene. Nine of their water rescue members-- they have 25 swift-water technicians and 20 divers-- were deployed to the Albemarle Sound area of Tyrrell County on Saturday afternoon. The order to was issued at 12:30 p.m. and they were rolling in 15 minutes. They were there for 48 hours, and enduring the intensity of the storm at the beginning. Battalion Chief Mike Beasley talks about the experience in the 96-second clip. Read/watch the story.

Readers have observed elsewhere that we haven't seen much local media coverage about the local water rescue and USAR teams and their operations during Irene. Since Yours Truly is neither a Public Office Information nor plays one on television, the best answer might be a collective answer. e.g., what do you think?

Some of the factors are probably obvious. For example, if your department has a standing relationship with one or more local news members, that relationship can be leveraged at times when the department has a story that the news might be interested in. Such relationships might be in the form of the Fire Chief, a PIO, or a member of command staff. What are your experiences?

Of course, we're also thick into the digital era. Everyone has cameras and there's usually someone capable of filming and posting reasonably good-quality video. So write and post your own news. Not the same, right? And probably not necessarily sanctioned. Does your department have a YouTube channel, say, and does it produce videos for public consumption and education? What, you're laughing now? Again, let's look to you. What would you, as Joe or Jane Responder, like to see as "news" of what you do?

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