Rotherham's TikTok firefighters continue to create viral content despite app ban
THE show can go on for Rotherham’s TikTokking firefighters despite fire chiefs banning them from using work devices to post fun and educational videos.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has barred staff from using the video-sharing app TikTok on corporate devices — but this will not affect Rotherham’s world famous content-makers from continuing with their hit videos which often go viral.
Steven Locking, IT manager at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue service, told a meeting of the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority on Monday that the service has adopted the government’s policy to ban the app.
However, the fire service’s corporate communications team had previously used personal devices to film and edit TikTok videos so the social media app and content will be unaffected by the decision.
Mr Locking told the meeting: “We were very aware of the government’s policy and we have adopted the same government policy for ourselves, so TikTok is banned from all corporate devices in South Yorkshire now.
“There are no five service applications or systems that are allowed to get to TikTok at all.
“If we want to use TikTok, as discussed with our corporate comms team, they have to use separate devices, not corporate ones.
“There’s no access to TikTok on any corporate devices at all. They can use it on their own personal device, but that’s not a risk to South Yorkshire Fire.”
The Cabinet Office announced last month that the app would be banned on all government electronic devices, following data access concerns.
Ministers ordered a security review, investigating the potential vulnerability of government data from social media apps on devices and risks around how sensitive information could be accessed and used by some platforms.
SYFR’s TikTok account currently has almost 152,000 followers, and went viral last year after posting a video in support of the LGBT+ community for Pride month.
As reported in the Advertiser earlier this year, the SYFR account often features Rotherham blue watch duo Adam Dilkes and Anthony Simpson whose posts regularly see the service reach a global audience and clock up millions of views.
The pair described TikTok as the “perfect platform” to share fire safety tips and promote campaigns and events, as well as more light-hearted content.
A spokesperson for SYFR said: “Like many other public bodies, emergency services and the BBC, we are continuing to use TikTok to engage younger audiences — particularly around fire safety and recruitment.
“Staff in our communication team use their own devices to film and edit videos, as had been the case previously.”