Aim: The aim of the article is to present the results of quantitative research, as well as to analyse the activity of organisational units of the State Fire Service in social media on the example of Facebook. The development of social media (platforms) on the Internet has caused them to be regarded as a tool commonly used by various types of private organisations and public administration bodies, as well as the fire service. The use of this medium offers many opportunities as regards sharing latest news and efficiently communicating with the local community, as well as building positive relationships and developing the organisations’ image. Social media are also used by the government administration as well as the emergency services of many countries in the crisis response process, during each of the four phases of crisis management (prevention, preparation, response, reconstruction).

Methodology: The first part of the article reviews the literature on the uses of social media platforms, their advantages and disadvantages, and the classification and examples of the use of such tools at the respective stages of crisis management. In the second part, the profiles of district (poviat), municipal and regional headquarters of the State Fire Service are analysed. The collected empirical data were aggregated, subjected to statistical analysis, and then presented in a tabular and graphical form.

Results: The article points out that active accounts on Facebook, the most popular platform among Polish Internet users, are run by only 20% of district/ municipal headquarters and 31% of regional headquarters of the State Fire Service. In addition, the popularity of individual profiles, the regularity of updates, the completeness of contact and address details as well as content published by the surveyed entities were analysed.

Conclusions: The organisational units of the State Fire Service only partly use the potential offered by social media. An effort should be made to increase our involvement with social media platforms because, as of date, their use in individual phases of crisis management has often brought about positive results. The number of ”likes” of individual profiles on the Facebook platform should be gradually increased, so that in the event of a threat, the potential of this medium can be fully exploited.

Keywords: social media, State Fire Service, Facebook, crisis management, rescue

Type of article: original scientific article