What We Had At DC FEMS Was A Failure To Communicate

I enjoy discussing and writing about a lot of different social media/tech topics. One of the topics I don’t like writing about is when there is a social media failure from an individual or an agency, but I often feel the need to write about it because I think it’s important we learn from mistakes.

Needless to say when Washington DC FEMS suspended their Twitter account for no real reason, I found it to be utterly ridiculous. A few basic things could have been done in the planning and implementation to prevent this embarrassing episode from ever happening. Here’s an excerpt from my latest column up at EMS1.com that looks to help agencies prevent this from happening to them:

The account reportedly stopped activity on August 30 when the employee responsible for its content went on vacation. It returned to activity September 22 after intense scrutiny, including a number of scathing reactions to Communication Director Lon Walls referring to the medium as “…for parties. We ain’t givin’ parties.

Director Walls apparently didn’t even know the department had a Twitter account until recently, which is an entirely different problem.

This situation has a number of issues that can easily be avoided if your agency takes the time to properly plan and implement a social media presence in a… [Read More @ EMS1.com]

What would you do to make sure that everyone was on the same page with a social media presence?


  1. Dakotah says

    Unbelievable. As a DC resident and local fire volunteer, the DC Fire twitter account was very valuable. Working downtown there are often traffic issues and fire & police activity that are made more bearable because we have twitter to tell us what is happening. Having an official source such as the DC fire twitter allows us to share with our colleagues what is happening – which in turn prevents crowds of ppl from pushing up towards a scene just to ask that simple question. @txaussie24:twitter 


  1. […] Regardless of that miniscule criticism, kudos seriously needs to go to @FDNYnews and their social media personnel behind the Twitter account yesterday. That is a fine example of how incident information can, and should, be disseminated via social media and is something Washington DC FEMS Communication Director Lon Walls should take notes on considering his epic Twitter fail. […]