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City of Charlottesville, VA Fire Department


Chapter: IV - General Administration
Subject: Public Information Releases
Code: 1-IV-17
Revised: 6-10-96


      To  establish  the Fire Department policy concerning release of
      information to the public.

l7.02 POLICY

      A.  All  members  shall  exhibit an attitude of helpfulness and
          concern toward interested  persons  making  inquiries  into
          Fire Department or City activities.
      B.  All  members  who receive inquiries as to the activities of
          the Fire Department or City shall use discretion  and  good
          judgment   when   answering  such  inquiries,  taking  into
          consideration the necessity for release of such information
          and the need of the Department and/or the City.
      C.  During emergency operations, the Incident Commander (IC) or
          (if position has been  activated)  the  Public  Information
          Officer  (PIO)  will  answer questions and issue statements
          concerning the incident to the news media.   Other  members
          at the scene who receive questions and inquiries concerning
          the incident  shall  direct  those  interested  persons  to
          either the IC or (if activated) the PIO.
      D.  On  a  daily  basis,  the  Fire Battalion Chief, or his/her
          designate, shall provide  the  news  media  with  requested
          information regarding Fire Department activities.
      E.  Members   who   receive   inquiries   which   seem   to  be
          controversial  or  of  a  sensitive  nature  regarding  the
          activities  of  the Fire Department or the City shall refer
          those interested persons to their direct supervisor.
      F.  Officers  and  members  who  have had questions directed to
          them shall endeavor to answer those questions with  factual
          information  only.   If the correct answer to a question is
          unknown, the said  officer  or  member  shall  endeavor  to
          either  obtain  the correct answer or direct the interested
          party to someone who can provide the proper information.
      G.  The Deputy Fire Chief shall be notified through channels of
          any controversial inquiries or complaints  concerning  Fire
          Department activities.
      H.  For  information  requests concerning Albemarle County, the
          following procedure shall be followed:
          l.  Upon  contact by media, give them details such as time,
              address, names of companies responding.   For  specific
              details refer media to the County Fire Chief in charge.
          2.  Inform  media  that  if  they  cannot reach the company
              chief or other officer  in  charge  to  call  back  for
              additional information.

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