Train like you fight! #Florence #PIO #NorthCarolina

OMG. Be still my heart!

*blush*

This is why we train so aggressively.

This is why we need to continually coordinate with each other.

This is why we collaborate so frequently.

This is why we professionally share our success stories and our failures.

This is why we exercise with clear goals.

This is why our mission for disasters is so clear: help people before, during, and after a storm.

Train like you fight!

❤️ my peeps in North Carolina.

Quote me on this one: “This is what we train for, this is what we do!”

@rusnivek

The importance of the After Action Report (AAR)

After Action Reviews (AARs) and Improvement Plans (IPs) are critical to any agency. Particularly geared toward Emergency Management, we as chaperones of the process have a solid way to discern problems and find collective solutions.

While not as exiting as other events or activities, our methods in problem/solution aka initial findings, cause, analysis, and recommended actions can make the difference for your ongoing operation.

And if you are wondering, this AAR/IP process encompasses all hazards providers from any background. No matter how small or how big of a stake they have in the process, it is imperative that officials capture all the details.

If you want to know more about this common sense ongoing training, exercise, and evaluation process, I’d encourage you to talk to your local Emergency Management agency that can help guide you through this process.

Best part? It’s all documented.

@rusnivek

FSE today for Regional JIC actions! #PIO

Busy morning as we started our full scale exercise (FSC) today.

As players rolled in, they signed in and were matched up to their projected Joint Information Center (JIC) positions.

Some issues encountered by the participants? They have never worked together.

Realistic? Yep. Soooooo this is why we train and exercise together during bright lights classroom time. Again, I continue to believe, the worst time to meet someone for the very first time is at 0300.

Some general rules about the FSE including our work here in the JIC.

Steve outlining the efforts of social media injects and the Twitter.

Aside from regular play, we also had some VIPs visit. Jane from City Council showed up and I was detailed to share some of the issues, deliverables, and progress each of the tables were making as they continued the scenario.

Our social media team was hard at work not only discerning info, but also considering prioritization of tweets, impact of posts, and of course exploring various other platforms that could provide better SA/COP from data mining the locale using social media.

Not only the use of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – but exploring SeeClickFix, Waze, Tinder, SnapChat, and a whole host of other platforms geared to provide information out in the field.

Here’s Erica questioning the viability of some posted information as well as verifying media info.

Say it with me: Trust, but VERIFY.

Our rumor control table helped provide supplemental documents as well as refined talking points for our social media teams as well as our on-camera talent. All bullet points right?

Assistant PIOs were hard at work discerning google docs for real time sharing of information.

Maintaining good tempo for a JIC Manager is crucial as they update themselves on the issues w/ the EOC as well as continue the message that matches w/ the SMART Objectives.

As time went on, we simulated a “change of command” where the JIC Manager formally passes command to the Deputy JIC Manager. Hint to new JIC Managers – to make this a smooth transition, you must train on this action.

***ICS reminder: The Deputy can assume the role of the primary position. An assistant cannot assume the role/duties of the primary position.

Meanwhile, us Controllers and Coaches got all the smiles.

Along with VIPs, we continue to stream Federal partners in to tour the working exercise JIC. Not only response questions, but long term viability and ongoing return to normalcy were stressed as we projected our move from response to recovery and how viable are the transportation companies.

See, recovery is critical right? Therefore resilience is critical for the community.

The Captain of the Port was able to brief out with all participants. Outstanding to have this kind of high level involvement in our FSE. Encouraging words to hear specifically addressing our nation”s current situation for security and safety.

Also, great messages of collaboration from the City/County Emergency Management Agencies on our FSE.

Additional discussion on upcoming evaluations and how hotwashes are critical as the team starts to piece together the AAR/IP.

But never fear, we did simulate a press conference lead off by the USCG Lt.

Joining the USCG leadership at the podium was EPA, and Mayor’s office.

Don’t worry, WSUR had some pressing questions like

  • How many are dead? (If you been through my Basic PIO course, you know this one)
  • Do you regularly train for this kind of emergency?
  • Have we been attacked before?
  • Are we currently under attack?
  • And the famous one: We got some leads from user generated comments but who is responsible for this horrific incident??

So I got a chance to discuss a few items from a training standpoint re: classes. Also a last minute pieces of encouragement for ongoing training and exercises as well as a strong guidance on planning ahead with everyone who is involved in the Regional Joint Information Center.

Glad to have soooooo many participants from diverse backgrounds involved in this exercise.

What a day!

Looking forward to seeing all of you on the next big one.

@rusnivek

FSE means…a white vest for me?!?

Hello Wednesday!!!! Who’s ready for some Full Scale Exercise?!?!

Don’t they know you are NOT supposed to wear white after Labor Day?

Don’t they know we wear pink on Wednesdays?

Oh well. Heading into the JIC now to rally up with all those PIOs/PAOs!

Looking forward to working with all of our partners from local, county, state, region, Federal, USCG, and DoD assets today.

@rusnivek

September 11th – 17 years later

Every year, I share one picture from September 11.

I took this particular picture because it is the home of Engine-10 and Ladder-10 who’s station sits in the shadow of the former World Trade Center. Yes, that’s right – directly next to the World Trade Center.

I remember digging at the pile with my fellow FDNY Brother Firefighters in the pile searching for something. I really wish we had found something significant to give to any family member. When I look back, I struggle with that particular memory.

So take some time out of your day to think about Firefighters and others who lost their lives on that day. No doubt, America continues to heal 17 years later.

Also, 2018, take some time to think about those public safety pros headed into harms way to ensure safety for those in the path of so many deadly hurricanes.

Yes, we will never forget the sacrifices.

We will always continue to fight the good fight.

America the beautiful, my home of the brave.

@rusnivek