Site visit ending up at AFD Station-8

Is it kinda like the elephant march when we line up ambulances outside?

Overcast dreary morning as we continue to support our public safety pros in the field 24/7. No rest for the weary!

But after Chicago, I was able to switch out to Aurora Station-8 as we discuss some ongoing issues and see how we can creatively explore more training/exercises to increase partnerships/coordination.

Lots of discussion on our ongoing FEMA Emergency Management Basic Academy as we continue to share the good that the DuPage County OHSEM does for all  partners.

Sometimes it’s difficult for people to understand that Emergency Management is a different field than 30 years in the fire service or 30 years at the police department or 30 years working at an EMS service. Definitely not the same.

So in that same vein, we need to tailor our classes and exercises to address the all-hazards approach and address all partners.

We are fortunate that our classes are geared to hit all 15 Federal Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) in accordance with national plans. Our guidance is clear as we align with national doctrine, state grants/guidance, and local response plans to coordinate and execute any needed response plans.

The crux is that Emergency Management in the EOC will be the coordinating entity during any emergency or disaster. Period.

In order for locals to execute, State to manage, and Federal to assist and support, we need to have a firm understanding of what happens every step of the way. I am proud of my staff for taking the time to see these things through and explore options for our public safety pros.

No doubt, these are the kinds of things that make our EM stronger and solid at supporting our peeps 24/7/365. We in Emergency Management must continue to build a rock solid collaborative effort with our key players so that when we need to exercise or execute, we can do it seamlessly.

Special thanks to the men and women at the Aurora Fire Station 8 for their warm hospitality. Looking forward to seeing all of you in class and future exercises.

Reporting live from the bay floors between Truck-6 and Engine-99…I mean Engine-8…

@rusnivek

Big cameras vs phones?

Sunday reflection – just some quick screen shots of the ongoing press conferences from the back on the rotorwing aircraft crash in CA. Take a look.

Do you see it?

Count how many phones vs big cameras.

Amazing to see the change in technology as we move from

My PIO observations

  • Try your best to make room for those reporters w/ phones only. Obviously, they can’t pool, so maybe a stand for video.
  • Media should be considerate of the notification of next of kin. Loved ones should NEVER find out of death from media reports.
  • Malt boxes are nice for secure locations, but likely in an outside field setup (like this one), it might not be possible.
  • At the close of the presser, clearly state the time of the next press conference so that media will have a good idea what info will be delivered and of your partners on what to prepare.
  • In the mass/swarm of the location, consideration to elevate your primary talent. If that’s not possible, perhaps give them some room around the podium to deliver message.

Good work on an undoubtedly difficult incident.

@rusnivek

 

February has 3 states and 2 regions

Into February we goooooooooo!

First full week will be the run up/prep for the busy month as we open up six new classes,

Second full week will be an ICS Forms course and an ICS-300 course. Additionally, I’ll be in Wisconsin for a few advanced social media courses and a bunch of presentations to help prep for the upcoming 2020 Democratic National Convention. And then ending a week with a Debris Management class at the home office. That’s right, I’m hosting a Debris Management class on Valentine’s Day.

Third week, we will be on official assignment for FEMA as I lead another ICS-300 course at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama.

Fourth week, is the final planning week as we roll into an incredibly difficult March.

Looking forward to a busy month in Region 5 and 4.

Will we see you in class this month?

@rusnivek

 

A more resilient nation – thanks Dan!

Thank you to FEMA Deputy Administrator for Resilience Dan Kaniewski.

Your national efforts to push long-term planning for resilient communities will have long lasting effects for Emergency Managers as we all strive to better prepare our communities for any emergency or disaster.

Best of luck on your new adventure in the private sector.

@rusnivek

 

Morning briefing in the EOC with IL USAR TaskForce-1.

Morning briefing in the EOC with the State of Illinois USAR TaskForce-1.

Special thanks to OTFPD Chief Ralph DeLucca on providing information on their response as well as their resources.

It is imperative that Emergency Managers continually learn about teams and resources from their jurisdictions. In crisis, there will be no time to forge these relationships. Your interactions will be judged on how seamless your operations and rollout goes.

Experience will show itself in seconds. In order to call the shots, you have to talk the talk and have to have walked the walk.

Trust me, people are watching.

And judging.

Reporting live from the EOC this morning….

@rusnivek

Breaking news from the official State of Columbia PIO… #APIO

Wait a second…WAIT A SECOND!!!!

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2020 FEMA Advanced PIO class. Photo cred: TheGabeLugo

Is that the State of Columbia Public Information Officer making a solid appearance at the 2020 January FEMA EMI Advanced PIO class?!?

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OMG~!!! I’m #famous

“I’d like to thank the support of the State of Columbia Governor Düsseldorf (aka Maryland EMA PIO Ed McDonough) for his unwavering support through these years as the State of Columbia PIO…”

Special thanks to Super CCN Reporter Mr. LukeSkyWatcher on his outstanding stories on this evolving incident here in Central City and Emerald City in the State of Columbia.

Photo cred: Niki Bender (@NikiBender)

“We vow to work the recovery for our cities, who are the true beating heart of our State of Columbia. We will dedicate resources to strengthen and rebuild affected areas. Together, we will continue to build a prepared and resilient nation.”

I’ll take a few questions at this time….

@rusnivek

A few moments with my favorite JIC Managers

A glimmering light of happiness as I got a chance to spend a few moments with my favorite Joint Information Center (JIC) Managers Beth DeJesus and Erica Creech.

(L to R): Beth DeJesus, Kevin Sur, and Erica Creech. Photo cred: EllaMonster

Beth and Erica were my JIC Managers throughout the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Additionally, Beth was the Cleveland JIC Manager during the December 2016 Christmas plane crash out of Burke. Erica was my JIC Manager during the 2014 Ebola case in Cleveland, 2012 Hurricane Sandy Response, and the 2013 three girls missing in Cleveland case.

During our quick meet up, we talked about work/careers and ongoing efforts. And yeah, they tried to get me to move back to Cleveland.

But most importantly, we talked about family, kids, and the things that really mattered. Hard to believe but this PIO thing isn’t easy and in leadership roles, it’s hard to find people/friends who truly understand the complexities of the position and can sympathize in the daily challenging situations. We all have armor, we just need to decide how long we wear our protective gear.

Just like back in the day, we were able to slot back into our normal self and the redic things that come with Emergency Support Function ESF-15. I miss that kind of camaraderie and the cohesive bonds we shared with so many of our public safety partners from across the state.

Yeah, I miss my favorite JIC Managers…

@rusnivek