If, like me, you can remember the days when a photograph from the local fire brigade generally had this chap on the right in the picture (He’s Wellyphant for anyone who doesn’t know), then today’s image from West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service from the huge blaze at a recycling plant in Smethwick, north of Birmingham, will have taken your breath away.
In fact, it’s an image to take your breath away regardless:
Call them submitted pictures, call them PR pictures, call them UGC – whatever your call them, I suspect few will be able to top this image for pictures which pack a punch when they arrive on your computer.
It’s one of a number of superb images shared by West Midlands Fire and Rescue over the course of the last 12 hours – most of which you can see here.
The fire service’s use of social media has been superb today – constantly updating Twitter, and using it to launch a campaign against Chinese Lanterns, while also using tools like Bambuser to post live video interviews from the scene.
Not surprisingly, it led websites around the country – including the Birmingham Mail, which saw a big spike in traffic to its live blog coverage of the day’s events. And when was the last time a ‘PR photo’ led the front page of the Wolverhampton Express and Star?
Proof, in a picture, of how our media world is changing.