Section I-13

Media Guidelines

Purpose:  To establish guidelines when media is interested in Three Star Fire Department responses, personnel or functions.

Scope:   Although very rare, there may be times when Three Star Fire Department becomes involved in an emergency call, event, or public activity, where the media is interested in obtaining specific information concerning a specific emergency call, personnel, equipment, actions, or policy of the department.

Policy:

Unless authorized in advance by a chief officer, no member of the Three Star Fire Department shall release to anyone who is not a member of this department any information involving or related to any fire department incident or response.

Only the Fire Chief or the Governing Board President or his/her designee will make statements or releases any information to the media.

Incident Commanders will have to make contingency plans to deal with a media response to fire scenes and other incidents.  The media must not be allowed into the command post or behind fire lines for obvious safety, privacy, liability, and confidentiality reasons.  Fire lines will have to be established as soon as possible when initiating operations.

All members of Three Star Fire Department shall exercise extreme caution in the conversation they have between themselves at incident scenes.  Bystanders in the area may overhear the conversation and potentially release it as official information.

Information shall be released to the media, unless the withholding has been approved by the Chief of the Department or his/her designee.  Only factual information may be released to the media.  Speculative, suggestive, derogatory or opinionated information must be avoided.  Do not talk "off the record”.  Verify the media representative if you are uncertain to whom you are speaking.

It is policy of the Three Star Fire Department that no one will release the name or other vital statistics regarding civilians involved in or affected by fire department operations.  No name of a deceased person will be released by any Three Star Fire Department personnel.