First Responders Training to Use Social Media During Emergencies

By Damian Trujillo
|  Monday, Mar 24, 2014  |  Updated 6:01 PM PDT
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South Bay first responders are receiving a crash course on utilizing social media to informing the public during natural disasters and criminal investigations. Damian Trujillo reports.

South Bay first responders are receiving a crash course on utilizing social media to informing the public during natural disasters and criminal investigations. Damian Trujillo reports.

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South Bay first responders are receiving a crash course on utilizing social media to informing the public during natural disasters and criminal investigations.

The training will help first responders better use social media to get the word out in emergencies, officials said.

"Social media is another avenue for them to communicate and help put and get the right information where they need to," said Kevin Sur, who is training first responders in Santa Clara County.

Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said he now uses social media frequently as the department's public information officer.

"At the sheriff's office, we firmly believe in spreading the word through social media," he said, adding the department has a Twitter, Facebook and Instagram account. "It's the most efficient way to communicate with the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time."

Officials said most people nationwide are getting their information through mobile devices.

Eric Petruni, a local real estate agent, is one of those people who rely on mobile devices to get information.

"I can't sit at my desk for more than a few hours," Petruni said. "I'm on my mobile phone or iPad all the time."

Petruni said he's glad first responders are using social media more so he'll know where to go or what to do in an emergency.

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