Derbyshire fire service removes press line to save money

A Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said it is 'much more convenient for us to post updates via social media'.
A Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said it is 'much more convenient for us to post updates via social media'.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) has removed a facility used by journalists to keep members of the public informed about incidents.

The service has axed its telephone press line - also known as a 'voicebank' - in a move which will save £500 per year.

It has now started posting updates on the social networking site Twitter.

The telephone press line - which was used by reporters at this title several times a day - included messages recorded by control room staff and had information about incidents like fires, rescues and road crashes.

A DFRS spokesman said it is 'much more convenient for us to post updates via social media'.

In a letter released to local media organisations, the service added: "DFRS appreciates that Twitter, due to its character restrictions, does not allow for comprehensive updates.

"However, linked tweets should allow us to provide the level of detail that was previously uploaded to the voicebank.

"Over the coming weeks, we will be rolling out training to facilitate Facebook incident updates too - these will obviously allow for comprehensive updates."

The letter added: "Due to several atrocities and the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, the work of all emergency services has been highlighted and has never more so been in the public eye.

"DFRS is keen to work with all our media colleagues to ensure the work of our firefighters and control room operators continues to be celebrated and acknowledged through your channels as well as our own.

"We continue to recognise the essential role all channels of communication play in 'warning and informing' our communities."