Service Standard 1.4.5 Social Media

The NSW Rural Fire Service published a reviewed Service Standard that relates to the use of  Social Media on 23 November 2015.

There is a requirement (Section 3.17) for administrators of service-related or official accounts to register their channel or channels by filling out the Social Media Registration Form.

Note: The form is an online form that was a bit hard to locate. My tip is to log into My RFS and search for Social Media Registration Form.

It is worth noting that in the Service Standard 1.4.6 NSW RFS Websites (Section 3.22), administrators of brigade websites are strongly encouraged to register their website by emailing

The Social Media Service Standard states that members must not post information on social media which could:

  1. be misleading or deceptive;
  2. result in bullying, victimisation or harassment;
  3. lead to criminal penalty or civil liability;
  4. divulge confidential or sensitive information;
  5. reasonably be found to be vexatious, offensive, obscene, threatening, abusive, defamatory or culturally insensitive; or
  6. be interpreted to be of a commercial or political nature.

The NSW RFS Social Media Video

A company known as Skip Film Productions was engaged by the NSW RFS to made the following video:

The video is well made and the NSW RFS needs to be congratulated for promoting respect when using social media.

Bullying and Inappropriate Behaviour

Sadly, there are plenty of cases where bullying and inappropriate comments have been made on social media and other electronic media platforms.

The VFFA has received reports from concerned volunteers and we take these reports very seriously.

The VFFA acknowledges that we all have differences of opinion but we must be able to openly discuss and debate issues that impact upon our volunteers, the NSW RFS and the public.

We encourage anyone with something to say to “play the ball, not the player”, it is not cool to attack individuals on social media.

Most of us have said or done something in our lives that we regret (that’s human) but I encourage everyone to think first before jumping online and having a dig at someone.


Regardless of the level of confidence that you might have for an individual, a better outcome when dealing with issues will be achieved if you adopt a respectful approach.

Your Thoughts?

Some say that the NSW RFS wants to control everything that is said, that is why they want some control over your social media.

I tend to agree that the voice of volunteers is often silenced or muffled, particularly when it goes against the desired direction of the NSW RFS senior management.

I do agree with the NSW RFS that social media can get out of hand and we need to take care when using it.

What are your thoughts?

Respectful comments will be published.

Mick Holton
Vice President, VFFA

Is Social Media the problem or Lack of Respect?
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