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Mitchell Fire Division hits Twitter

Mitchell's fire department is now on Twitter.

Assistant Fire Chief Paul Morris said Monday the Mitchell Fire Division will now use the social media site to keep the public more informed about emergencies, happenings at the division and fire safety.

Its handle is (at)MitchellFireEMS.

"In today's society, people expect information now," he said. "And they expect it to be accurate. We think this will be a good tool to use to spread information."

Morris added that Twitter will be particularly helpful to update the public during large emergencies, such as a structure fire or hazardous materials spill.

The Mitchell Fire Division will provide live updates of the site of an incident, the barriers nearby and how to get around the scene.

The Mitchell Fire Division has discussed using Twitter and did research for the last year. After talking to several fire departments throughout the nation, Morris and other officials agreed the benefits outweigh the negative consequences.

"Usually at incidents there is a barrier line, but you're always going to have people coming and watching," he said. "It's something to do. But the police division does a wonderful job on the barriers."

Morris, Public Safety Chief Lyndon Overweg and Fire Marshal Marius Laursen will be in charge of updating the Twitter feed. The division has already used the feed to alert people to a high fire danger in the state, ongoing training within the fire division and the number and calls staff have dealt with.