SANTA FE (KRQE) – They wanted to grab your attention and they succeeded.
A series of April Fools’ tweets from Santa Fe Emergency Management’s Twitter account had people talking, but not everyone’s amused.
They tweeted a picture showing a huge wildfire and a guy on his roof with a garden hose and wrote, “It’s OK to start a small brush fire. @SFFDNews [Santa Fe Fire Department] will magically appear & put it out before it gets big. #AprilFoolsDay”
It was a part of a series of messages they sent with the April Fools’ Day hashtag.
“I think if people are smart enough to figure out how to use Twitter, they’re smart enough to figure out these are for April Fools’ Day what not to do to be prepared in emergencies,” said Andrew Phelps, emergency manager for the City of Santa Fe.
The Santa Fe Fire Department says they’re not laughing.
“This is not driven by Santa Fe Fire Department. We do not think public safety is ever a joke. Not even on April Fools.’ ” said Paul Babcock, spokesperson for SFFD.
Phelps says they know when to draw the line, so real warnings don’t get lost in the April Fools’ Jokes.
“I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to put anything out there that says, ‘There’s a gas leak on the plaza! April Fools! LOL,'” he said. “That certainly would have crossed the line and done a disservice I think to the message we’re trying to get out.”
Apart from an unhappy fire department, the Office of Emergency Management says the tweets worked.
Phelps says they gained more Twitter followers and heard from a lot of people who say the tweets made them think about emergency preparedness.