2 days with Glen Gilmore

Antrax crisis management, a 2.0 approach is the title of the conference @GlenGilmore lectured yesterday in the Spanish city of Alcorcon, very close to Madrid. The emergency digital magazine, @iRescate, directed by me, and the city Hall Town of Alcorcon @AytoAlcorcon organized the event, which the cooperation of the Spanish Society of Emergency Medicine, SEMES Madrid.

Since anyone interested in the conference may follow all the information in @iRescate, where also an exclusive interview will be available soon, and Twitter (#Antrax) what I’d like to talk in this post is how I met Gilmore and my personal impression on the conference and him.

Social Media

Glen Gilmore contacted me through Twitter on the summer of 2011. I started using the app only that same year, and I must confess that I didin’t know, at that time, how important he was. I didin’t know he has more than 130.000 followers only in his personal account, besides those he has in his others’.

The thing is I probably RT something he wrote (neither of us remember how it was) and we started talking in Twitter. He immediately asked me to join him in LinkeIn, which is what he usually does to check whether somebody is reliable in social media, as he explained to me when we met in Madrid.

What I recalled clearly is that I thought, for the message he sent me in Spanish to join him in LinkedIn, that he was a gentleman. I also thought, for his profile picture, that he was much older than he really is. The funny thing is that he immediately “threaten” me to visit Spain next September. I inmediately answered: “You will be very welcome”.

More than a year happened, during which we kept talking on Twitter, when he sent me an e-mail saying he was coming within a week to Madrid and if it would be possible to lecture on the Antrax crisis. He also added that he needed a translator :-) At that moment, I offered myself to perform the task.

I answered immediately saying it was all a bit too sudden, but, nonetheless, I would make some calls to find a suitable place for the event. I called my friend, @CarlosNovillo, Alcorcon’s Fire Fighter’s Chief, who said that Alcorcon’s Mayor @DavidPerez, would be very interested. I also talked to the vice president of the Spanish Society of Emergency Medicine, SEMES, @fernandolopezmesa, who offered the possibility to certify the conference as a course. All settled, I talked to Madrid 112 Press Manager, @Luisserranor, to organize a visit to Madrid 112.


We finally met on Wednesday the 25th on Madrid. We spent three hours together talking on his experience with the Antrax and discussing the presentation he would make the following day. We also talked about the Spanish situation and met a demonstration on the city centre. By that time, I obviously knew how much influence he has on social media, and I wanted everything to be all right.

And it was.

Trustworthiness and social media

Emergency Managers always say  trustworthiness is key in an emergency situation. You can not pretend to open an account on Twitter and be trusted by the citizens next day only because you are and authority. Credibility is something that must be constructed day after day, so you are a reliable source of information.

Glen and I trust each other for the moment we met in social media, and that was the base for the event to be a success.

Emergency Services

We spent Wednesday 26th all day together, from the moment Madrid 112 Press Manager and me picked him up at his hotel. We visited Madrid 112 Joint Centre in the morning, then had lunch in Alcorcon with the Fire Fighters Chief, the Security Responsible of Alcorcon city town and some other authorities. At 6 o’clock p.m. we met Alcorcon’s Mayor and the conference started.

Visiting Madrid 112 Joint Centre

Gilmore was impressed by the Spanish Emergency Services, and so he said to Madrid 112 Director and to Alcorcon’s Mayor. I remember him saying that he felt “more secure” after visiting the Joint Centre and knowing how they work.

He tried all day to make himself understandable in Spanish, and we really had a great time.

If anyone understands perfectly why the Hufftington Post named him a “Twitter Power House”, what I would like to remark about him is not only his professionalism, well known everywhere, but his kindness and closeness.

As he said, social media connections are real connections, and they make it possible that we finally were able to meet in Madrid and he could lecture here on the Antrax crisis and the power of social media in emergency management.

Thanks to all my friends and authorities who make this event possible and to Glen for making all the way to Spain to share his experience with us!

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