Most Facebook users seek out old classmates or new connections.

The social networking force also serves as a community bulletin board, of sorts.

Increasingly, volunteer firefighters are using Facebook to update community members on fire-prevention efforts, fundraisers and department news.

GET THE WORD OUT

A quick Google search for Ellenburg Depot Volunteer Fire Department brings up the organization's Facebook page, which has been active for less than a year.

"It's just a great way to get our messages out," said Second Assistant Fire Chief Danny Jarvis.

He suggested setting up the page and acts as the main administrator.

Wall posts range from pancake-breakfast events to reminders about changing batteries in home smoke detectors.

Visitors can even find images of the latest firefighting trucks and equipment.

Firefighter training and controlled burn information can be found there, too.

"People can comment on our events and get a sense of what we do," Jarvis said.

LOTS OF LIKES

The Ellenburg Depot Fire Department has a full roster of volunteers at the moment, but Jarvis can see Facebook as a possible recruitment tool, too.

"It's a lot less phone chatter and trying to reach people," he said.

The Ellenburg Depot Facebook page had 187 "likes" as of Thursday.

Other local fire departments also have pages on Facebook.

The AuSable Forks Fire Department page had 348 likes, and the Peru Fire Department page had 502.

Cadyville and Cumberland Head are among the other departments taking advantage of this free tool.

While Facebook is a useful resource, Jarvis said, people won't find personal information about fire victims.

"We always want to show courtesy," he said. "You have to be careful about how far or how detailed you go (in posts)."

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