by Brandon Mercer

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — You know “Stop, Drop and Roll” in case your clothes catch fire, and “Drop, Cover, And Hold On” in an earthquake. Now, a new class for the city’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team has San Francisco Firefighters teaching, “Open App And Tweet In Case Of Emergency.”

In a major incident, Tweets including pictures or short videos for, “Send #jawsoflife to 3rd & Market” will fly through the Twitterverse along with news of Justin Bieber’s latest arrest, or a Kardashian’s latest booty TwitPic.

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Using Twitter is nothing new for public service agencies, but the new class being offered for volunteer responders in Twitter’s hometown should help quickly communicate when firefighters need extra eyes and ears, who don’t have two-way emergency radios.

The Twitter class Wednesday night is designed to “save lives of everyday San Franciscans” by helping volunteers in:
1. Quickly reporting and verifying the most critical issues
2. Deploying fire, water, and police resources more strategically
3. Decreasing the number of 911 calls by getting and reporting information online
4. Freeing the 911 system up for the most critical issues
(SOURCE: SFFD News Release)

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Firefighters say, “While we have plans in place if cell phones don’t work, we have a plan in place if they do.”

The Twitter class is phase one of that plan.

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