The Southlake Departments of Safety received the 2022 Silver Circle Award from the City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA) for their video on emergency preparedness. The national award was presented at the 3CMA Annual Conference in September 2022.
This year’s theme, “Blazing a New Trail: Exploring the Communication Landscape,” was inspired by challenges communities have faced over the past two years, as well as utilizing new routes for communicating, educating, and informing them.
The video, “Prepare Right Now for Your Home,” was part of a severe weather awareness campaign. It was designed to capture people’s attention and empower them to help spread the word about emergency preparedness and knowing what to do when a storm hits.
As emergency management staff rocked out to a parody of the 1980s rock band duo Heart’s song “Alone,” they informed citizens about safety and preparedness.
“With the Facebook audience primarily being 35-44 years old and nostalgic of the ‘good ole days, the idea to create emergency management videos in the style of 80s rock bands was formed,” Southlake DPS Public Information Officer, Brad Uptmore said.
The video became an instant hit! Within two weeks, it had over 63,000 views and was featured on local newscasts. It also caught the eye of the legends themselves, Ann and Nancy Wilson.
Judges praised the video and the way creators were able to take a “typical emergency management preparedness message and completely own it and make it relevant for their audience.” They also commended the team on the graphics, creative use of song lyrics, and overall campaign.
As part of the video, Fire Chief Michael Starr also made his rock and roll debut. He believes the message of safety and preparedness reached a wide audience.
He stated, “We serve the citizens of Southlake, but this video was broad enough to reach everyone, no matter where they live.”
The national 3CMA Savvy awards utilize judges from across the United States and recognize outstanding local government achievements in communications, public-sector marketing, citizen-government relationships, and salute skilled and effective city, county, agency, and district professionals who have creatively planned and carried out successful innovations in communications and marketing.
For more information on how you can prepare for emergencies, visit the Office of Emergency Management’s, “Get Prepared” page.
Watch the award-winning video below:
This year, Southlake DPS redirected their Summer Camp Mania fire safety in the kitchen lessons into a coloring contest.
Contests were presented to camp groups over two different weeks.
The theme, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” is inspired by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 2020 campaign. The theme was required to appear prominently within the poster and had to depict safety behavior and procedures.
The judges were the Fire Marshal’s Office and camp staff. First, second and third place were awarded for each division and all participants received a ribbon and a Southlake Fire string bag.
All winning posters are on display in the Southlake Library.
Division I – Ages 5 – 7
Division II – Ages 8 – 10
Division III – Ages 11 – 12
Fire station tours have been an important bond between residents and the City of Southlake Department of Public Safety. However, COVID-19 restrictions hindered how the Fire Department continued to deliver this educational service to residents.
Calendar coordination, time constraints, social distancing guidelines and even making sure those on the tour were able to see more than just offices were all considered as the team brainstormed how to continue to bring every day public education to the community.
“The message wasn’t going to change. We had to change the medium to continue to deliver our quality services and engage the community,” Southlake Public Information Officer Brad Uptmore said. “Throughout our planning, my goal was to engage viewers with a Disney World-like ride so that the education aspect stuck and people would continue watching to the very end.”
The team tested a virtual tour on groups before planning a virtual tour video for social media. Filming took place on two Mondays and included more than 20 people. Editing and finalizing the video took 2-3 weeks.
“The coordination for completion was complicated. We don’t have a dedicated film crew to put videos like this together,” Fire Prevention Officer Renni Burt said. “It was a team effort and everyone participated to make a great video that was entertaining and educational for children and adults.”
The final product combined an interactive infomercial with Uptmore’s creative concept of an amusement park ride to create a digital version of a fire station tour that was entertaining enough to keep viewers glued to the video for seven minutes.
They video was also recognized as one of the reasons the Southlake DPS Facebook page received the Government Social Media’s Facebook Favorite Award.
“We’re still here and still working for the community. The work Brad and Renni have done to stay connected to our community virtually and continue to promote public education and events has been imperative to making the lives of our residents safer,” Fire Chief Mike Starr said.
Through our Southlake values of Teamwork and Innovation, Uptmore and Burt delivered a memorable experience for the Southlake community.
For more information about the Southlake Fire Department, visit: www.CityofSouthlake.com/Fire.
The City of Southlake and the Southlake Police Department are aware of and are in regular contact with the organizers of a student-led protest scheduled to take place in Town Square this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in response to the death of George Floyd.
The students have coordinated with the Police Department personnel so they understand what they can expect and, they have also been assigned a Southlake Police Officer Liaison for any questions they might have.
“The right to gather and peacefully protest is a right we support and ensure day-in and day-out,” said Assistant Police Chief Ashleigh Casey. “In each case, our goal is to maintain a peaceful environment while supporting freedom of speech and expression. In this instance, there are extra safety concerns since there are supposed to be young students involved.”
The Police Department has a strong operational plan and a commitment to maintaining order. “Southlake is considered a safe place, and we don’t want our well-meaning students negatively affected by unlawful activity,” Chief Casey added.
“We have heard from many people with differing opinions about the protest,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “First amendment rights are paramount, but safety is also a big concern, and we are doing what we can to let people know about what to expect on that day so they can make an informed decision.”
Conversations about the protest have also taken place between the City and the management of Town Square and other surrounding commercial properties.
Certain streets surrounding Family Park in the front of the square will be closed to traffic to help support a safe demonstration. Town Hall will also be closed to the public for the weekend.