FEMA Basic PIO course at the PSOC

Morning start to the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer course at the Public Safety Operations Center (PSOC)

Welcome and good morning by Mr. JB himself!

Packed house with multiple disciplines represented from Fire, EMS, Police, Emergency Management, ESF-12, higher education, Search and Rescue, Coroners Office, etc…

Like a good Emergency Manager, I found the EOC.

They have soooo many tools and toys to play with!

As all FEMA Basic PIO courses, we are staunch advocates of putting all participants in front of the camera. No matter what kind of experience level or years in the position, you can always learn by practicing your skills in front of others.

We typically hear complaints.

  • I didn’t get enough time to prepare.
  • I didn’t get the information in time.
  • I don’t know anything about plane crashes!

Blah blah blah. But the reality of the situation is….IT HAPPENS LIKE THAT IN REAL LIFE!!!!!!!!

So yeah, we want to train like you fight.

For those that were wondering “Has this ever happened before?” Yes.

Looking forward to tomorrow day-2 with our news media panel, interview reviews, and focus on social media.

@rusnivek

JIC/JIS Course at IFD HQ – Day-3!

Day-3 of the Joint Information Center/Joint Information System course here at the Indianapolis Fire Headquarters.

This place is super nice…

…and a bonus welcome by the Chief of the department – Fire Chief Malone!

Outstanding to see that kind of engagement of a large metro fire department stop by to say hi. And of course the IFD PIO BC Rita Reith working the PIO magic too!

Great discussion on when situations get worse…ie disaster declarations and how as situations start to grow, how we as a nation respond to help assist others.

You know we had lots of discussion on JIC/JIS operations and needs.

Also discussed how the executive policy room could affect actions of the field PIOs as well as the JIC – which stresses the need for solid, one voice communications from the Emergency Operations Center.

I know, I know, coordination again huh? But it’s the truth! If we don’t work together, we will likely fail our constituents. We must work together to support our ongoing efforts of safety with all our partners.

Great dialog on mutual aid partnerships. Regardless of the situation, we can all work closely with each other and share ideas.

Me? I am very proud of the work from everyone in the class this week.

Looking forward to working with all of you during the next big one.

Until then, go forth and tweet good stuff!

@rusnivek

Day-2 of the DHS/FEMA G0290 Basic PIO Course!

Day-2 of the DHS/FEMA G0290 Basic PIO Course!

We had time to discuss a myriad of topics including the importance of press releases.

While antiquated, there is some value. I think.

Lots of group work as we continue to move to support our agencies’ goals and mission.

As usual, we were fortunate to have excellent coordination with local and national media for this class.

Good Morning America Elyna Niles-Carnes (@encproducer)

WISHTV-8 Emily Kinzer (@EmilyKinzer8)

RTV6 Paris Lewbel (@PLewbel)

and Indiana State Police PIO Sgt John Perrine (@ISPIndianapolis).

So glad to have this candid media panel to discuss ongoing PIO operations with everyone.

Got a chance to facilitate this panel discussion as we had spirited discussion on “no comment”, realistic expectations, favoritism, “off the record” vs truth. Outstanding discussion from everyone from Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Florida, and of course Indiana.

And if you were wondering, no doubt, we did review all in-class interviews.

Solid discussion on tips/tricks to use during oncamera interviews as well as some great techniques to use during a crisis.

Looking forward to tomorrow – final day as we form Voltron and move into JIC/JIS!!

@rusnivek

Day-1 of the FEMA Basic PIO Course in Indianapolis

Day-1 of the FEMA Basic PIO course here in Indianapolis!

Glad to be teaching with FEMA Master PIO Erica Creech…

…and WTFD Capt Mike Pruitt…

…and oh a quick surprise….FEMA Master PIO Rita Reith!

That’s right, for those of you keeping score, this is the first time 3 FEMA Master PIOs have taught the Basic PIO Course. Whoop whooop!

Don’t worry, we did some on camera interviews as well as some fun dialog with out class that hail from Indiana and Kentucky!

We talked about press conferences and the importance and the need for onscene communications not only with the news media, but also the general public. Like the breaking news coming out of Mercy Hospital in Chicago.

Also sharing some stories of breaking news in Cleveland.

Great dynamic and solid discussion from everyone who attended today’s first day of FEMA Basic PIO!

@rusnivek