Social media has changed the world from national revolutions to day to day business. People are forced to adapt, or they get left behind.
That includes city and county agencies like fire stations.
The Hotchkiss Fire Protection District’s Facebook page has 713 followers. For a volunteer district that services around 3,000 people, that’s a considerable number, especially when it is compared to Grand Junction Fire Department's 289 followers and Fruita's 176 followers.
"We update something new almost every day. If we have an incident or something, we update it a lot with incidents and stuff like that," said Hotchkiss Fire webmaster John Sell, Jr.
He and the rest of the department are all volunteers. Through Facebook, Sell keeps the small north fork community updated with the latest news, like car accidents, fires and recalls.
“It came to the point when we'd put up a post and the community would know about it pretty much instantly," said Hotchkiss Fire Chief Doug Fritz.
And that quick information transfer goes both ways.
"The biggest surprise to us is that [Facebook has] been able to give us information about what's going on on the scene that we don't necessarily see," said Fritz.
According to Fritz, that is due to Sell, who is able to monitor local social media to find out who else is talking about a certain incident.
For this small station, fast and frequent posts seem to be the key to their large following.
But back in Mesa County, Harmony Ward with the Grand Junction Fire Department said she tries to be strategic about what she posts.
"People don't want to have just a bunch of information thrown at them, and they're constantly un-friending us because they're tired of the constant chatter,” said Ward.
Mike Page, public information officer for GJFD, is also concerned that when speed becomes a priority, accuracy goes out the window.
"So what we want to do is make sure we're communication with our administrative staffs and our operational staffs to make sure that what we're telling people to do is an accurate process," said Page.
Fritz said Facebook in Hotchkiss has probably been so successful because of the tight-knit nature of the community. People tend to use it as a message board.