AddThis SmartLayers

Fire service axes local press phone line in bid to save £500

A fire service has closed its telephone press line, saying it is “much more convenient” to post updates on social media instead.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has removed the voicebank facility used by journalists, which will save the organisation £500 per year.

DFRS has now started posting updates on Twitter instead.

In a piece about the change on the Derbyshire Times website, the newspaper said the voicebank was used by its reporters several times a day.


Times head of content Ashley Booker said: “Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service’s voicebank provided important information about incidents across the county. It was used by our journalists several times a day and helped us keep the public informed about fires, rescues and road crashes, for example.

“Our fire service does a wonderful job and it is really important we highlight the vital work of Derbyshire’s firefighters. We hope we can continue to do this now the voicebank has been removed and the fire service is providing information about incidents on social media.

“If there are any issues with this new way of working, we will inform the fire service.”

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.”